Also known as

Liver function tests (LFTs) is a group of tests performed on a single blood sample that can give information about how your liver is working.
When to get tested
Your doctor may decide to check on your liver function from time to time depending on your general health and lifestyle. The test is also used to help make a diagnosis if you have certain symptoms that suggest you have liver damage. It is sometimes used to monitor your health if you are taking medication to manage a health condition.

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It breaks down drugs and other substances that are harmful. It makes proteins that help blood to clot, and bile, which is sent to the small intestine to help digest fats. Lots of diseases and infections, drugs or toxins can cause liver problems. The liver may become inflamed, scarred, or the flow of bile may be blocked.  The liver can be quite damaged before symptoms appear. 
Sample required
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm
Test preparation needed
What results can show
Liver Function Tests look for signs of damage or disease by measuring the levels of several different substances in the blood that are either produced by liver cells as part of their normal function or released when liver cells are damaged. 

Each substance gives different information. Taken together, along with your symptoms and history, the results build a picture of the health of your liver. Some of the substances can be affected by conditions elsewhere in the body and levels of some substances can be higher than normal when there is no problem. So, it’s important to talk with your doctor about what the results mean for your particular situation. For more details about results see our video.


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