Hepatic Function Panel (Basic Liver Health)
This Basic Liver Health Test Panel checks the blood for following liver enzymes: AST, ALT, Total Protein, Albumin, Billirubin, Alkaline Phosphatase.
Quest Diagnostics Test Code for Panel: 10256
What does this test reveal about your health?
Liver filters and processes blood as it circulates through the body. It metabolizes nutrients, detoxifies harmful substances, makes blood clotting proteins and performs many other vital functions like storing energy (glycogen) for the body to perform optimally. The cells in the liver contain proteins called enzymes that drive these chemical reactions.
Liver disease can be tricky to diagnose because its symptoms can be vague and a person may confuse it with other health problems. Sometimes, a person may have no obvious symptoms but the liver may already have suffered damage. Liver disease can be inherited because of genes or caused by factors such as viruses, alcohol use, obesity and drugs. Over time, damage to the liver results in scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.When liver cells are damaged or destroyed, the enzymes in the cells leak out into the blood, where they can be measured by blood tests.
Liver Health test panel is designed to provide all necessary information about your liver function. Its components are chosen and their specific ranges are updated according to the newest American College of Gastroenterology guidelines. We designed it to get an answer to a question: Is everything ok with your liver function?
You should perform this basic liver health test if you:
• Use drugs for treating increased cholesterol levels
• Use any kind of therapy for a long period of time
• Noticed that your white of the eye or skin has a yellow tint (jaundice)
• Have a family history of liver-related diseases
• Noticed generalized itch over your body lately or your stomach appear to be swollen
• Feel progressively fatigues lately
• Noticed a tendency to bruise or bleed easily lately
• Have a chronic liver disease
• You want to know if overall health of your liver is good.
What are the components of the Basic Liver Health Test Package and why are they so important?
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) & Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
It is an enzyme inside the liver cells. The bigger the liver damage- the more of it will be present in the blood. The most common cause of the increase is inflammation (hepatitis). Those two are always analyzed together since their ratio is equally (if not more) important than a total amount. If something is wrong with a liver, those two usually go up to the sky (10-100 times than normal values), so in case of mild increase don’t panic, just ask your doctor for advice.
Virtually every single protein (except hormones) in the blood is synthesized in the liver. If the total protein count is low, it suggests that something is wrong with either the organ where the proteins are produced (liver) or an organ through which they can be lost (kidneys).
Albumin is the smallest protein molecule in our blood and every single albumin in it is produced in the liver. It a sensitive indicator of liver and kidney function. Albumin is what keeps body’s fluids in the vascular vessels if it goes down dramatically, fluid (water mostly) exits the blood vessels and patient notice swelling.
Bilirubin is a by-product of erythrocyte break-down in our bodies (average erythrocyte lifespan is 120 days). The increase of its level in blood suggests that something is wrong either with the organ which metabolically processes it- the liver or the drainage system of it- liver is particularly important in this segment as well. Differentiation between those two requires a “fine” biochemistry analysis (also available in our labs).
Alkaline phosphatase is predominantly produced in liver, kidney, and bones. While in childhood skeletal (“the bone version”) is mainly found in the blood, in healthy adults, the liver is the most important organ when it comes to its synthesis. It is an extremely important diagnostic tool for hepatitis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis and many other serious health conditions.
The Hepatic Function test has no fasting requirements.
Estimated Time Taken
1 - 2 working days after collection of specimen.