Liver Test: Results and Treatment

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Liver Function Tests

Liver function tests are blood tests to find out if your liver is inflamed or damaged. Physicians conduct certain tests to check some chemicals that are produced by the liver, and to check if your liver is working well. Liver blood tests measure bilirubin, albumin and prothrombin time (blood clotting). Liver function blood test may also be used to study liver enzymes.

If a person has a high level of any of the following, then it means that his liver is damaged. Doctors look out for excessive levels of: Alanine aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT), Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT), and alkaline phosphatase (AP). Too much of the latter means that there is blockage in the bile ducts.

Reasons Why It is Conducted

  • These tests are done for people who have a medical history or have had physical examinations, where problems with the liver have shown up.
  • Long-term and chronic infections can be diagnosed through these tests.
  • Patients undergoing antiviral therapy might need to go for liver tests regularly to check the impact of the treatment.

Test Results

The tests can come up with two kinds of findings – normal and abnormal. In normal results, all the levels are of normal range. Abnormal test results mean that one or more than one of the levels is not within the normal range. The results might indicate that the liver isn't working normally or is inflamed. The results might indicate that you have a viral infection. More on liver function test results

What you should know

High levels of liver enzymes means that other than hepatitis, you may have autoimmune hepatitis, hepatitis B, obesity, or have been consuming alcohol for a long time. If the physician feels that you are showing signs of hepatitis c, then you will need to get more tests done for further assessment. The doctor can work on a treatment plan in accordance with the liver test results.

Treatment Post Liver Test

  • If the level of liver enzyme remains above normal for six months or more. This means that you might have some chronic liver infection.
  • If the tests show that there are traces of the hepatitis C virus in your blood.
  • If the test results show that the liver is seriously damaged, then the doctor might have to recommend a liver biopsy.
  • Some of the other tests that are done are the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test, which measures the Alanine Aminotransferase enzyme in the blood. The aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test measures the Aspartate Aminotransferase enzyme in the blood.