In this post, you will learn about the importance and purpose of the hepatic panel test. This test helps your healthcare provider to understand and diagnose your liver condition and problems. The liver is the essential organ of your body. It is the factory of several vitamins, hormones, enzymes, cholesterol, and other substances. Liver disease may be caused due to several reasons, which will be discussed in this post.
Is the LFT and hepatic panel the same?
Liver function tests (LFTs), also known as the hepatic panel test, are the most accurate test for liver disease. It is a group of blood tests that helps to determine the health status of your liver. The LFT test shows liver damage or problems due to various reasons.
An LFT may be used to:
- See the presence of liver infections like hepatitis (A, B, or C)
- Observe the ongoing treatment if you have had a liver problem.
- Check for side effects of a specific medicine in your liver
- Diagnose the extremeness of liver damage due to injury or liver scarring (cirrhosis)
How do I know if my liver is damaged?
Liver disease can develop for a long time in your body. Mostly, you do not see significant early signs of liver damage or failure. If you experience signs and symptoms of liver disease, you will need to take immediate action by placing an online order for the hepatic panel test.
Signs of liver damage
Following are the possible signs of liver damage that include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Eyes and the skin color turn yellow (jaundice)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Urine color shows up in the dark
- Light-colored stool
- Decreased appetite
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Itchy skin
- Swelling in your legs and ankles (the joint combines the leg with the foot).
How to test for liver disease?
Your provider may ask for a liver function or hepatic panel test after knowing your symptoms and medical history for liver disease. An MRI, CT scan and ultrasound can also indicate liver failure or damage.
Tests included in a hepatic panel:
Liver function tests help to see specific enzymes and protein levels in your blood. These groups of tests are conducted with a single blood sample. The tests often included in a hepatic panel are:
Liver enzymes: This helps to detect the liver enzyme amount in your blood. These enzymes are the following:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT) – is an enzyme that develops energy from proteins. It comes in your blood vessels in higher amounts when you have liver disease.
- Aspartate transaminase (AST) – is an enzyme that converts amino acids into energy. It is present in low amounts in your blood. High AST may mean liver damage.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) – ALP enzyme is present in your bone and liver. It helps to decompose proteins. High ALP levels may show bone or liver disease.
- Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) – GGT enzyme also presents in your blood. This enzyme shows liver damage from alcohol intake. High GGT levels may result in bile duct damage or liver problems.
- Lactate dehydrogenase (LD): LD enzyme is available in your body’s cells. High LD levels in your blood may indicate liver damage or injury.
Albumin and Total Protein: Albumin is a significant protein developed by your liver. Your body requires enough albumin to do various body functions. A total protein test can determine all types of protein amount in your blood. Low albumin and total protein levels can show liver disease.
Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a waste substance produced during the regular decomposition of red blood cells. It releases through your liver and comes in the stool. High bilirubin levels may also indicate liver damage.
Prothrombin Time (PT): It is the amount of time in which your blood clots. You may have liver disease if you experience high PT. Sometimes it may also go up due to the use of specific medicines such as warfarin (blood-thinning drugs).
Your healthcare provider may also order a test to monitor the individual enzymes and protein levels if you have an abnormal result in a hepatic panel or liver function test. Get an affordable price for Liver function tests.
The Procedure of the liver function tests
You can schedule an online order for this test before visiting the laboratory. A hepatic panel is a single blood test that requires a blood sample from your vein. When you visit the laboratory, you will ask to sit in front of your provider. A provider will inject a small needle into a vein in your arm. Your blood sample will be collected into a specimen and will be stored in the laboratory for examination.
This test will end within five minutes. You may experience feelings of discomfort or slight pain during the time of needle injection.
Does the hepatic panel require fasting?
Your provider may tell you to avoid eating or drinking for at least 8 to 12 hours before the test. You may also need to inform your medication or supplement that you take in a day to your provider. You will be guided on when to stop these medications that may affect your test results.
Hepatic Panel Test Result
The test result may be received within one or two days. The hepatic panel result may vary depending on age, gender, medical history, family history of liver disease, and other factors. The test results may also slightly differ among laboratories. It is because each lab may use different methods for measurement.
Normal hepatic panel
Following are the recommended ranges for liver function tests:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT): 7 to 55 units per liter (U/L)
- Aspartate transaminase (AST): 8 to 48 U/L
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP): 40 to 129 U/L
- Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT): 8 to 61 U/L
- Lactate dehydrogenase (LD): 122 to 222 U/L
- Albumin: 5 to 5.0 grams per deciliter (g/dL)
- Total protein: 3 to 7.9 g/dL
- Bilirubin: 1 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
- Prothrombin Time (PT): 4 to 12.5 seconds
You can review your test result with a verified doctor by requesting an online appointment. The abnormal test result may develop due to the following reasons:
- Infections such as hepatitis viruses (A, B, and C)
- Immune system disorders
- Liver cancer
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Fat deposition in your liver
- Use of specific medicine for a long time
A hepatic panel test can easily identify and detect liver problems. Your provider will give you treatment according to your test results. You may need additional tests if you have abnormal levels of any of these enzymes and proteins. If you already have liver disease, this test will help to monitor your liver conditions and how well the treatment is going. If you are looking for this test at a discounted rate, you can visit here to get the opportunity.