Liver Function Test, Here's What You Should Know

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Liver Function Test, Here's What You Should Know
Liver Function Test, Here's What You Should Know

Liver function test is an examination to determine the condition of the liver. This test is done by checking the levels of enzymes and proteins in a blood sample

The liver has many important functions for the body, including digesting food, producing protein, and storing energy. If its function is disturbed, the body will experience a number of complaints, such as jaundice, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In such cases, liver function tests are required to check the condition of the liver.

Liver Function Test, Here's What You Should Know - Alodokter

Enzymes and proteins measured in liver function tests include:

  • Alanine transminase (ALT), an enzyme that converts protein into energy for use by liver cells
  • Aspartate transminase (AST), which is an enzyme that plays a role in amino acid metabolism
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an enzyme that plays an important role in the process of breaking down proteins
  • Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), an enzyme that plays an important role in drug metabolism in the liver
  • L-lactate dehydrogenase (LT), an enzyme that converts sugar into energy
  • Bilirubin, which is a residual compound from the breakdown process of red blood cells
  • Albumin and globulin, which are proteins made by the liver and become one of the markers of impaired liver function

In addition to knowing the levels of enzymes and proteins above, liver function tests also function to measure prothrombin time, which is the time it takes for blood to clot.

Indications of Liver Function Test

The purpose of liver function testing is to:

  • Detect and monitor the development of liver disease, such as hepatitis or alcohol-related liver disease
  • Assess the effectiveness of treatment and monitor possible side effects
  • Checking how severe the damage is to the liver, for example from cirrhosis

The doctor will suggest liver function tests if you have factors that can increase your risk of liver disease, such as:

  • Suffering from alcohol addiction
  • Suffering from anemia
  • Suffering from gallbladder disease
  • Suffering from obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes
  • Consuming drugs that risk damaging the liver
  • Has a family with a history of liver disease

Heart Function Test Alert

Before undergoing liver function tests, there are several things you need to know, including:

  • The patient's veins are sometimes difficult to find, so the process of taking blood samples can be done more than once.
  • Patients may feel dizzy or faint during the blood draw. Tell the doctor the history of the illness, especially if there is a fear (phobia) of needles.
  • Liver function tests may be performed more than once to determine the progress of the disease or to determine whether other tests are necessary.
  • The results of liver function tests do not always give an accurate diagnosis and may not always tell how severe the patient's liver damage is.
  • If the results of liver function tests do not provide an accurate diagnosis, the doctor may perform additional tests, such as ultrasound, CT scan, and liver tissue sampling (biopsy).
  • Abnormal liver function test results do not always mean the patient has liver disease, because the abnormal results can be influenced by burns, infections, dehydration, pancreatitis, and pregnancy.

Preparation for Liver Function Test

The following are some things that need to be prepared before undergoing a liver function test:

  • Tell the doctor what medicines you are currently taking, so that the doctor can stop taking them temporarily.
  • Fast 10–12 hours before undergoing a liver function test, as some foods can affect liver function test results.
  • Wear short-sleeved clothes or clothes whose sleeves are easy to roll up, so as not to complicate the blood sampling process.

Liver Function Test Implementation Procedure

Liver function test is done by taking a sample of the patient's blood. The implementation is carried out in the following stages:

  • Cleaning the skin area where the blood is drawn, so that the blood is not contaminated with germs that cause infection
  • Tie an elastic cord to the arm, so that the patient's veins can be seen more clearly
  • Insert a syringe into a vein, then draw the required amount of blood
  • Release the strap on the arm and cover the injection wound with a bandage to stop the bleeding
  • Bring a blood sample that has been taken for examination in the laboratory

After Liver Function Test

Patients are generally allowed to go home and return to their activities after undergoing blood sampling for liver function tests. However, if the patient feels dizzy after taking the blood, the doctor will suggest to rest first in the treatment room.

The results of the patient's liver function tests will be compared with the benchmark values ​​for normal liver function. If the patient's liver function test results show liver damage, the doctor will find out the cause by evaluating the patient's symptoms and disease history.

Please note, the standard values ​​for normal liver function may differ for each patient, depending on the patient's age and gender. The following is a benchmark for normal liver function values ​​in adult men:

Albumin 3, 5–5.0 grams per deciliter
Bilirubin 0, 1–1, 2 milligrams per deciliter
Total protein 6, 3–7.9 grams per deciliter
A lanin e transaminase 7–55 units per liter
A spartat e transaminase 8–48 units per liter
Alkali ne ph os ph attache 40–129 units per liter
Gamma-glutamyltransferase 8–61 units per liter
L-lactate dehydrogenase 122–222 units per liter
Prothrombin time 9, 4–12, 5 seconds

Abnormal liver function test results can indicate the patient's liver is damaged or not working properly. This condition can be caused by:

  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Bile duct obstruction
  • cirrhosis
  • liver cancer

Side Effects of Liver Function Test

Liver function test is a safe test. The patient may only feel a little pain during the blood collection process. Bruises at the injection site may also appear, but they usually go away in a few days.

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