What are liver function tests?
Liver function tests (also known as a liver panel) are blood tests that measure different enzymes, proteins, and other substances made by the liver. These tests check the overall health of your liver. The different substances are often tested at the same time on a single blood sample.
If levels of one or more of these substances are outside of the normal range, it may be a sign of liver disease.
What are they used for?
Liver function tests are most often used to:
· Help diagnose liver diseases, such as hepatitis
· Monitor treatment of liver disease. These tests can show how well the treatment is working.
· Check how badly a liver has been damaged or scarred by disease, such as cirrhosis
· Monitor side effects of certain medicines
What happens during a liver function test?
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
You may need to fast (not eat or drink) for 10-12 hours before the test.