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Liver function test (LFT) includes a group of blood tests commonly performed to evaluate the function of the liver. This test measures the level of enzymes and proteins produced by the liver including bilirubin, albumin, lactate dehydrogenase etc. You may need this test when you experience symptoms suggestive of liver problems such as dark urine, diarrhea, light stool and jaundice. LFT helps in the diagnosis of liver related conditions including liver cirrhosis, hepatitis and liver damage. This test is also advised to patients undergoing treatment for liver disorders.
  • What is a Liver Function Test (LFT)?

    A Liver Function Test (LFT) is a blood test that provides information about the health and function of your liver. It measures various substances and enzymes in the blood that are produced or processed by the liver. LFTs can help detect liver diseases, monitor liver function, and assess the effectiveness of treatments.

  • Why is an LFT performed?

    LFTs are performed to evaluate the overall health of your liver and to identify any potential liver disorders or diseases. They can be used to diagnose conditions such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, alcohol-related liver disease, and liver damage caused by medications or toxins.

  • What does an LFT measure?

    An LFT measures several substances and enzymes in the blood, including: - Alanine transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate transaminase (AST): Enzymes released into the blood when the liver is damaged or inflamed. - Alkaline phosphatase (ALP): An enzyme that can be elevated in liver diseases or bile flow disorders. - Total bilirubin: A waste product produced by the liver that can indicate liver damage or blockage. - Albumin and total protein: Proteins produced by the liver that help assess liver function and overall health. - Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT): An enzyme that may be elevated in liver diseases, alcohol consumption, or certain medications. - Prothrombin time (PT): A test that measures how long it takes for your blood to clot, indicating the liver's ability to produce clotting factors.

  • How is an LFT test performed?

    An LFT is a simple blood test that requires a sample of blood to be drawn from a vein in your arm. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Results are typically available within a few hours to a few days, depending on the lab.

  • Are there any risks or side effects?

    The LFT test is generally safe, with minimal risks. Some people may experience slight bruising or infection at the site where blood is drawn. In rare cases, dizziness or fainting may occur. If you have concerns or medical conditions, it's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider.

  • Should I fast before an LFT test?

    In most cases, fasting is not required before an LFT. However, there are specific tests within the LFT panel where fasting might be necessary. It's best to check with your healthcare provider or the lab conducting the test for specific instructions.

  • How often should an LFT be done?

    The frequency of LFT tests depends on various factors, such as your medical history, existing liver conditions, medications, and lifestyle. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate frequency for you, but typically, LFTs may be conducted every 6-12 months for routine monitoring, or more frequently if you have a known liver disease or are undergoing treatment.

  • Can LFTs diagnose all liver diseases or conditions?

    While LFTs provide important information about liver health, they are not specific to a particular disease or condition. They serve as screening tools, and further diagnostic tests, such as imaging scans or liver biopsies, may be needed for a definitive diagnosis.

  • Do I need a doctor's prescription for an LFT?

    In most cases, an LFT test requires a healthcare provider's prescription. However, in some regions, it might be possible to access LFTs directly through self-referral or wellness clinics. It's best to check with your healthcare provider or regional regulations for specific requirements.

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