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Blood Test: Hepatic (Liver) Function Panel

What Is a Blood Test?

A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken from the body to be tested in a lab. Doctors order blood tests to check things such as the levels of glucose, hemoglobin, or white blood cells. This can help them detect problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ (such as the liver or kidneys) is working.

What Is a Hepatic (Liver) Function Panel?

A liver function panel is a blood test that helps doctors check for liver injury, infection, or disease. Liver function panels also can check for side effects in the liver from some medicines.

Why Are Liver Function Panels Done?

A liver function panel is done to learn information about the levels of:

  • Albumin and total protein, which help build and maintain muscles, bones, blood, and organ tissue. Low levels may be seen with liver or kidney disease, or nutritional problems.
  • Liver enzymes: Alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). These enzymes help the liver convert food into energy. When their levels are high, it can be a sign of that the liver is injured or irritated.
  • Bilirubin. Bilirubin is made when red blood cells break down. The liver changes the bilirubin so that it can be excreted from the body. High bilirubin levels may mean there is a problem with the liver. This can make skin look yellow, a condition called jaundice.

How Should We Prepare for a Liver Function Panel?

Your child may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before the test. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results.

Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction.

How Is a Liver Function Panel Done?

Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will:

  • clean the skin
  • put an elastic band (tourniquet) above the area to get the veins to swell with blood
  • insert a needle into a vein (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand) 
  • pull the blood sample into a vial or syringe
  • take off the elastic band and remove the needle from the vein

In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a “heel stick collection.” After cleaning the area, the health professional will prick your baby’s heel with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect a small sample of blood.

Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick.

Can I Stay With My Child During a Liver Function Panel?

Parents usually can stay with their child during a blood test. Encourage your child to relax and stay still because tensing muscles can make it harder to draw blood. Your child might want to look away when the needle is inserted and the blood is collected. Encourage your child to relax by taking slow deep breaths or singing a favorite song.

How Long Does a Liver Function Panel Take?

Most blood tests take just a few minutes. Occasionally, it can be hard to find a vein so the health professional may need to try more than once.

What Happens After a Liver Function Panel?

The health professional will remove the elastic band and the needle and cover the area with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.

When Are Liver Function Panel Results Ready?

Blood samples are processed by a machine, and it may take a few hours to a day for the results to be available. If the test results show signs of a problem, the doctor might order other tests to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it.

Are There Any Risks From Liver Function Panels?

A liver function panel is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some kids might feel faint or lightheaded from the test. A few kids and teens have a strong fear of needles. If your child is anxious, talk with the doctor before the test about ways to make the procedure easier.

A small bruise or mild soreness around the blood test site is common and can last for a few days. Get medical care for your child if the discomfort gets worse or lasts longer.

If you have questions about the test, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2021 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com

Liver Function Tests | Stanford Health Care

Liver Function Tests

What are some of the most common liver function tests?

A series of special blood tests can often determine whether or not the liver is functioning properly. These tests can also distinguish between acute and chronic liver disorders and between hepatitis and cholestasis.

The most commonly performed blood tests include the following:

  • Serum bilirubin test: This test measures the levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the liver and is excreted in the bile. Elevated levels of bilirubin may indicate an obstruction of bile flow or a problem in the processing of bile by the liver.
  • Serum albumin test: This test is used to measure the level of albumin (a protein in the blood) and aides in the diagnosis of liver disease.
  • Serum alkaline phosphatase test: This test is used to measure the level of alkaline phosphatase (an enzyme) in the blood. Alkaline phosphatase is found in many tissues, with the highest concentrations in the liver, biliary tract, and bone. This test may be performed to assess liver functioning and to detect liver lesions that may cause biliary obstruction, such as tumors or abscesses.
  • Serum aminotransferases (transaminases): This enzyme is released from damaged liver cells.
  • Prothrombin time (PTT) test: The prothrombin time test measures how long it takes for blood to clot. Blood clotting requires vitamin K and a protein that is made by the liver. Prolonged clotting may indicate liver disease or other deficiencies in specific clotting factors.
  • Alanine transaminase (ALT) test: This test measures the level of alanine aminotransferase (an enzyme found predominantly in the liver) that is released into the bloodstream after acute liver cell damage. This test may be performed to assess liver function, and/or to evaluate treatment of acute liver disease, such as hepatitis.
  • Aspartate transaminase (AST) test: This test measures the level of aspartate transaminase (an enzyme that is found in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, skeletal muscle, and red blood cells) that is released into the bloodstream after liver or heart problems.
  • Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase test: This test measures the level of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (an enzyme that is produced in the liver, pancreas, and biliary tract). This test is often performed to assess liver function, to provide information about liver diseases, and to detect alcohol ingestion.
  • Lactic dehydrogenase test: This test can detect tissue damage and aides in the diagnosis of liver disease. Lactic dehydrogenase is a type of protein (also called an isoenzyme) that is involved in the body’s metabolic process.
  • 5′-nucleotidase test: This test measures the levels of 5′- nucleotidase (an enzyme specific to the liver). The 5′- nucleotidase level is elevated in persons with liver diseases, especially those diseases associated with cholestasis (disruption in the formation of, or obstruction in the flow of bile).
  • Alpha-fetoprotein test: Alpha-fetoprotein (a specific blood protein) is produced by fetal tissue and by tumors. This test may be performed to monitor the effectiveness of therapy in certain cancers, such as hepatomas.
  • Mitochondrial antibodies test: The presence of these antibodies can indicate primary biliary cirrhosis, chronic active hepatitis, and certain other autoimmune disorders.

Blood tests for liver cancer

Blood tests can:

  • check your general health, including how well your liver and kidneys are working
  • check numbers of blood cells
  • help diagnose cancer and other conditions

Preparing for your blood tests

You can eat and drink normally before most blood tests. For fasting blood tests you need to stop eating and drinking beforehand. Your doctor will tell you for how long.

What happens?

You sit or lie down to have the test.

A doctor, nurse or phlebotomist (person specialised in taking blood) chooses the best vein to use. This is usually from your arm or hand. Let them know if you are afraid of needles, get unwell with the sight of blood or are allergic to plasters or latex. 

They put a tight band (tourniquet) around your arm above the area where they take the sample. You may need to clench your fist to make it easier to find a vein.

They clean your skin and then put a small needle into your vein. Next, they attach a small bottle or syringe to the needle to draw out some blood. They might fill several small bottles.

Once they have all the samples, they release the band around your arm. They then take the needle out and put pressure on the area with a cotton wool ball or small piece of gauze for a few minutes. This helps to stop bleeding and bruising.

Look away when they’re taking the blood if you prefer. Tell your doctor, nurse or phlebotomist if you feel unwell.

Getting your results

Ask the phlebotomist, doctor or nurse when and how you will get your results. Some results might be available quickly, such as a full blood count. But some other tests might take several weeks.

Possible risks

Blood sampling (phlebotomy) is a safe test. There is a possibility of:

  • bleeding and bruising – pressing hard when the needle is removed can help to stop it
  • pain – this is normally mild and can last for a few minutes
  • swelling (oedema) – ask your nurse, doctor or phlebotomist to avoid an arm that is swollen or has a risk of swelling
  • feeling faint or fainting – tell the person doing your blood test if you’re feeling lightheaded or dizzy at any time
  • infection – this is very rare

Types of blood tests

Liver function tests (LFTs)

Liver function tests (LFTs) check how well your liver is working. LFTs look for levels of enzymes and proteins made by the liver or which are cleared by the liver. They include:

  • alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
  • aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
  • alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • gamma-glutamyl transferase (Gamma GT)

They might be raised if you have a blockage in your liver or bile duct, or if you drink a lot of alcohol.

LFTs also look at the amount of bilirubin in the blood. This is a chemical in bile. 

Bilirubin can be raised if you have a problem with your liver or gallbladder. Bilirubin can cause yellowing of your skin and eyes (jaundice). 

LFTs also measure albumin. This is a protein in the blood that can be low in some types of cancer. You can also have low albumin if you’ve been eating small amounts and are malnourished.

Full blood count

A full blood count (FBC) measures the number of red cells, white cells and platelets in your blood.

  • Red cells carry oxygen around our bodies. Haemoglobin is the part of the cell that carries oxygen. If you have a low red cell count, your doctor might say you’re anaemic (pronounced a-nee-mic). This can make you feel tired, short of breath and dizzy.
  • White cells fight infections. There are several different types of white cells, including neutrophils and lymphocytes.
  • Platelets help clot the blood. Symptoms of a low platelet count include abnormal bleeding, such as bleeding gums and nosebleeds.

There isn’t an exact range of normal for blood counts. The range of figures quoted as normal varies slightly between laboratories and also differs between men and women.

Urea and electrolytes

These blood tests show how well your kidneys are working. Waste chemicals called urea and creatinine are produced by the body. Our kidneys remove them from our blood and get rid of them in our urine.

Electrolytes are substances such as sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate.

Tumour markers

Tumour markers are substances that might be raised if there is a cancer. They’re usually proteins. They can be found in the blood, urine or body tissues. 

Some tumour markers are only produced by one type of cancer. Others can be made by several types. Some markers are found in non cancerous conditions as well as cancer.

Doctors might use tumour markers to help diagnose a cancer. And if you have cancer they can also help to monitor how well your cancer treatment is working or check if the cancer has come back. 

In some people with hepatocellular cancer (HCC) and hepatoblastomas the level of a chemical called alpha fetoprotein (AFP) is higher than normal. It can be a marker for HCC but the level can also sometimes be raised in people with liver cirrhosis who do not have HCC.

It is useful for doctors to measure the level of AFP before and after treatment for primary liver cancer as this may give them an idea about how successful treatment has been.

LFT test – liver function blood test

On this page

What is being tested?

Liver function tests (also called LFTs) are blood tests that can provide information about how the liver is working. They test the levels of a number of proteins and enzymes that are either produced by liver cells or released into the blood when liver cells are damaged.

The liver is a large organ in the upper right of the abdomen and is necessary for many different functions. For example, it processes drugs and alcohol, filters toxic chemicals, stores vitamins and minerals, and makes bile, proteins and enzymes.

LFTs examine proteins, enzymes, and other substances that indicate how well the liver is working. They can show if there is damage to liver cells or a blockage to blood flow through the liver.

Why would I need this test?

Doctors often request these tests for people who:

  • have liver disease or damage
  • are, or might be, infected with hepatitis viruses
  • are heavy drinkers
  • have a family history of liver disease
  • take drugs that can damage the liver

Your doctor might order LFTs if you have:

How to prepare for this test

No preparation is needed for this test.

Understanding your results

Each of the LFTs gives different information about liver function. The results do not indicate a specific condition, but their combined results can indicate patterns usually seen with liver disease or damage.

If your liver function tests are abnormal, further testing might be necessary to work out what is causing the liver damage and/or disease.

Some LFTs can be affected by conditions in the bones or elsewhere in the body. It is also possible that some LFT results can be mildly abnormal when there is no problem at all.

You should discuss the results with your doctor to see what they mean in your particular situation.

More information

Lab Tests Online has more information about liver function tests.

About blood testing

Visit healthdirect Guide to blood testing to learn more about blood tests in general, including information about:

  • what to consider before having a blood test
  • what happens during a blood test
  • results accuracy
  • blood tests cost

Diagnosis of Cirrhosis | NIDDK

How do doctors diagnose cirrhosis?

Doctors diagnose cirrhosis based on your medical history, a physical exam, and the results of tests.

Medical history

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms. He or she will also ask if you have a history of health conditions that make you more likely to develop cirrhosis.

Your doctor will ask about your use of alcohol and over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

Your doctor will ask about your history of health conditions.

Physical exam

Your doctor will examine your body, use a stethoscope to listen to sounds in your abdomen, and tap or press on specific areas of your abdomen. He or she will check to see if your liver is larger than it should be. Your doctor will also check for tenderness or pain in your abdomen.

What tests do doctors use to diagnose cirrhosis?

Blood tests

Your doctor may recommend the following blood tests

  • liver tests that can show abnormal liver enzyme levels, which may be a sign of liver damage. Your doctor may suspect cirrhosis if you have
    • increased levels of the liver enzymes alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
    • increased levels of bilirubin
    • decreased levels of blood proteins
  • complete blood count, which can show signs of infection and anemia that may be caused by internal bleeding
  • tests for viral infections to see if you have hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • blood tests for autoimmune liver conditions, which include the antinuclear antibody (ANA), anti-smooth muscle antibody (SMA), and anti-mitochondrial antibody (AMA) tests

Based on the blood test results, your doctor may be able diagnose certain causes of cirrhosis.

Your doctor can use blood tests to tell how serious your cirrhosis is.

Your doctor can use blood tests to tell how serious your cirrhosis is.

Imaging tests

Imaging tests can show the size, shape, texture, and stiffness of your liver. Measuring the stiffness of the liver can show scarring. Your doctor can use stiffness measures to see if the scarring is getting better or worse. Imaging tests can also show how much fat is in the liver. Your doctor may use one or more of the following imaging tests

Liver biopsy

Your doctor may perform a liver biopsy to see how much scarring in is your liver. A liver biopsy can diagnose cirrhosis when the results of other tests are uncertain. The biopsy may show the cause of cirrhosis. Sometimes your doctor may find that something other than cirrhosis has caused your liver to become damaged or enlarged. Your doctor can also diagnose liver cancer based on liver biopsy results.

NASH Diagnosis — American Liver Foundation

How does my doctor determine if I have NAFLD or NASH?

Because most people with NAFLD have no symptoms and screening for it is not recommended at this time, fatty liver disease is often discovered during a routine blood test or screening for another medical condition. For example, your blood work may show high levels of liver enzymes, or an ultrasound of your abdomen might reveal that your liver looks enlarged. Your doctor will use a variety of methods to determine if you have fatty liver disease.

These tests cannot show inflammation or fibrosis, so your doctor can’t use them to determine whether you have simple fatty liver or NASH. However, there are other types of imaging tests that are used to measure fibrosis by measuring the stiffness of your liver. Liver stiffness indicates scarring; the more scarring that is present the stiffer your liver is. The following tests can help your doctor determine if, and to what extent, you have fibrosis of the liver.

    • Transient elastography
      This test measures liver stiffness with a special ultrasound machine, the most common being FibroScan. Like a regular ultrasound, the exam is painless and non-invasive.
    • Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)
      This is a newer, noninvasive test that combines features of ultrasound and MRI imaging to create a visual map showing gradients of stiffness throughout the liver. MRE has been shown to be a more reliable measure of liver stiffness in severely obese patients.


If your medical evaluation shows no alternative causes for liver disease (such as medications, viral hepatitis, or excessive use of alcohol) and imaging studies of your liver show fat and liver stiffness, NASH is suspected. If your doctor feels that further confirmation is needed to make a definitive diagnosis of NASH, a liver biopsy may be ordered.

During a biopsy, your doctor will insert a needle between your ribs into your liver to collect a small sample of liver tissue for laboratory testing. NASH is diagnosed when examination of the tissue with a microscope shows fat along with inflammation and damage to liver cells. If the tissue shows fat without inflammation and damage, simple fatty liver or NAFLD is diagnosed. You can read more detailed information about preparing for a liver biopsy here.

Please call our helpline at 1-800-GO-LIVER if you have questions after speaking with your healthcare professional.


Ask your doctor to explain all your test results and their implications, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. This will help you have a better understanding of your diagnosis and why your healthcare provider is recommending a particular course of treatment going forward.

Tests for liver cancer | Hepatitis C Trust

Blood tests

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC or liver cancer) cannot be diagnosed by routine blood tests. There is only one specific blood test which can be used towards a diagnosis of HCC. This test specifically measures for the levels of the protein alfa-fetoprotein in serum (AFP).

Unfortunately only about half of all tumours will give a raised reading of AFP. So a normal AFP test does not exclude the presence of HCC. This is further complicated by the fact that AFP is also produced by proliferating liver cells so somebody with cirrhosis and liver regeneration is likely to have raised AFP levels already. As a consequence doctors will probably want to monitor whether the AFP levels are stable or not. Rising levels of AFP are more likely to indicate HCC.

Even where there is no detectable sign of HCC people with cirrhosis and an abnormal AFP still have a high risk of developing it. Anybody with cirrhosis and an elevated AFP, particularly with steadily rising AFP levels, will most likely either develop HCC or already have an undiscovered HCC.

Imaging studies

There is no single imaging technique that will correctly identify all HCC’s. Current techniques each have their strengths and weaknesses.


Ultrasound is usually the first screening test carried out if HCC is suspected. The accuracy of an ultrasound depends very much on the technician or radiologist who performs the scan. Some experienced operators may be able to detect lesions (areas of abnormal tissue) as small as 0.5cm. Others may only be able to identify much larger lesions. An ultrasound has the advantages of not involving ionizing radiation and intravenous contrast material (injecting a chemical into the body to improve the contrast of the imaging). The cost of ultrasound is also lower than other types of scans.

Computerised Tomography (CT) scans

When performed with an enhancing contrast agent CT scans can be just as sensitive as ultrasound. This is because the agent improves the imaging of the arterial and venous systems. CT scans are much less operator-dependent than ultrasound. They also have the advantage of being able to provide images of more areas of the body. CT scans are considerably more expensive than ultrasound and expose people to ionising radiation.

Hepatic Angiography

In this procedure a catheter is inserted into the hepatic artery and intravenous contrast material is injected into the liver. It may be useful for evaluating difficult lesions but it also involves ionizing radiation risks, arterial puncture and the administration of contrast agent. Hepatic angiography is usually carried out on people who are considered to be at high risk but who have failed to show any signs of HCC with other imaging studies. At the time of angiography, if a tumour is detected, it may be decided to block the artery feeding the tumour and before injecting anticancer drugs into it (chemoembolisation).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is becoming increasingly popular for the diagnosis of hepatic tumours. Like a CT scan it can examine large areas of the chest and abdomen in a single session. But because no ionizing radiation is involved the imaging can be repeated many times with little risk. The technology has evolved to the point that the newer MRIs can reconstruct images of the bile ducts, the gallbladder and of the arteries and veins of the liver. The use of intravenous contrast agents significantly increases the sensitivity of the procedure, but also increases the costs. MRI is currently expensive and availability of MRI machines is limited.

Liver biopsy

The only clear way to tell the difference between a malignant or benign growth is to examine it by removing a sample of tissue and reviewing it under a microscope. This process is called biopsy. A biopsy may be undertaken at the same time as an ultrasound or CT scan.


In this procedure a surgeon places an instrument called a laparoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at the tip) into the body via a small cut in the abdomen. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to look directly at the liver to assess for signs of HCC.

90,000 Get tested for liver disease

Home visit available

Glucose (in blood) (Glucose)

Determination of the level of glucose in plasma or serum is used for the diagnosis and control of diabetes mellitus and other diseases associated with impaired carbohydrate metabolism.

Protein total

Total protein is an indicator of protein metabolism, reflecting the content of all protein fractions in the blood serum.The test is used in complex biochemical examinations of patients with various diseases.

Protein fractions (Serum Protein Electrophoresis, SPE)

Serum protein electrophoresis is used in the diagnosis of conditions accompanied by abnormal synthesis or loss of protein. Screening test for suspected myeloma.

Bilirubin total

Determination of the level of bilirubin in the blood serum is used to detect liver lesions of various origins, blockage of the biliary tract, hemolytic anemia, and neonatal jaundice.

Total cholesterol (cholesterol, Cholesterol total)

Evaluation of the level of cholesterol in blood serum is used to assess cardiovascular risks, in the diagnosis of lipid metabolism disorders, as well as in complex examinations of patients with pathology of the kidneys, liver, endocrine system.

Urea (in blood) (Urea)

Urea is the end product of the breakdown of protein molecules, excreted from the body by the kidneys.Determination of the level of urea in blood serum is used to assess the excretory function of the kidneys and monitor the effectiveness of treatment in patients with renal diseases.

Home visit available

The tests included in the profile make it possible to identify liver damage, assess the state of its synthesizing and excretory functions, and make assumptions about the possible causes of the pathology.

Home visit available

Strictly on an empty stomach after an overnight fasting period of 8 to 14 hours.
On the eve of the study, it is necessary to exclude increased psycho-emotional and physical stress (sports training), alcohol intake.

90,000 ALT and AST (biochemical blood test)

ALT and AST – these abbreviations can often be seen in a blood biochemistry test.What do they mean? What can they tell the doctor about? Our questions are answered by a gastroenterologist “Clinic Expert” Kursk Vasilisa Vladimirovna Ishchenko.

– Vasilisa Vladimirovna, what do the abbreviations ALT and AST mean?

– ALT, or alanine aminotransferase, is an endogenous enzyme produced by liver cells – hepatocytes. Its content in blood serum is insignificant. The highest concentration of ALT is found in the liver, therefore this enzyme is a specific marker of diseases of this organ.In addition, ALT can be found in small amounts in the kidneys, heart muscle, skeletal muscles, and pancreas.

AST, or aspartate aminotransferase, is also an enzyme from the group of transaminases that is involved in the exchange of amino acids. It is found mainly in the liver, myocardium, nervous tissue, skeletal muscles, in a smaller amount – in the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, lung tissue.

When cells are damaged under the influence of infectious or toxic factors, energy metabolism in cells changes.Due to a violation of the permeability of cell membranes, components of the cytoplasm and disintegrated intracellular structures, including enzymes, enter the blood serum. As a result, the level of ALT and AST in the blood rises. This complex of disorders is called cytolytic syndrome.

– What will the ALT and AST indicators in the biochemical blood test tell us about?

– Normally, the concentration of transaminases and their ratio to each other in the blood plasma are constant values. They reflect the balance between the formation and release of these enzymes.In addition, this balance indicates the normal course of physiological destruction of aged cells (apoptosis). A deviation from the norm in the level of ALT and AST and a change in their ratio is observed in pathological processes.

The degree of increase in the activity of these enzymes allows us to judge the severity of the cytolytic syndrome. However, these indicators do not always indicate the severity of organ damage and do not allow the doctor to judge the prospects for the development of the disease. Therefore, along with the analysis of ALT and AST, specialists usually prescribe a set of laboratory and instrumental examination methods, and also monitor the level of enzymes over time.

– When are these tests recommended?

– ALT and AST data can be important for non-specific symptoms such as general weakness, decreased performance, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes. These indicators are necessarily determined to diagnose diseases and assess the functioning of the liver.

Read related materials:

Not always gastroscopy.Examination for abdominal pain
Insidious pain mask. Does abdominal pain always indicate gastrointestinal problems?
Mom, my stomach hurts! What is behind a child’s abdominal pain?
How not to become a balloon? Getting rid of flatulence in the intestines
Why do people turn yellow?

– What are the reasons for the increase in ALT and AST in the blood?

– Acute and chronic viral, toxic hepatitis, autoimmune diseases, fermentopathies, liver cirrhosis, tumor processes and liver metastases, infectious mononucleosis, pulmonary embolism, poliomyelitis, malaria, leptospirosis – in many pathological conditions, we observe an increase in the level of these enzymes in the blood. Also, ALT and AST values ​​increase with myocardial infarction. Small short-term changes in their level can be observed during heavy physical exertion.

I would like to note that the ratio between ALT and AST (the so-called de Ritis coefficient) is also an important diagnostic indicator. This coefficient helps us to distinguish, for example, viral hepatitis from alcoholic liver damage, myocardial infarction from liver disease.

Read related materials:

How to protect yourself from Botkin’s disease?
Hepatitis C shield and sword.How to protect yourself and your loved ones?
“Silent killer” of contemporaries
Invisible disease: fatty liver disease
What can you get infected on vacation? Caution Malaria!
Is polio coming back?
How to prevent myocardial infarction?

– What could be the reason for the decrease in ALT and AST in the blood?

– With a lack of vitamin B6, a severe form of liver cirrhosis, pathologies of the pancreas, with renal failure (especially in patients on hemodialysis).

– How does the level of ALT and AST in the blood change during pregnancy?

– Since the liver during this period detoxifies the body not only of the mother, but also of the fetus, an increase in the level of these enzymes can be observed.

– Vasilisa Vladimirovna, is preparation required for testing for ALT and AST? If so, which one?

– Definitely required. Blood from a vein must be taken in the morning on an empty stomach (last meal 12 hours before the study).On the eve of the test, one should avoid heavy physical exertion, changes in the diet, and the use of alcoholic beverages. For half an hour before blood sampling, you must refrain from smoking.

I want to emphasize that determining only the level of ALT and AST is not always informative enough, therefore, most often doctors prescribe them in combination with other biochemical indicators.

Would you like to read about other analyzes? You can find articles about them in our heading on laboratory diagnostics

You can sign up and take tests here
ATTENTION: the service is not available in all cities

Interviewed by Sevilya Ibraimova

The editors recommend:

Blood Biochemistry: Frequently Asked Questions
Rebooting the liver. What are we going to clean?
Delete or keep? What to do if gallstones are found?

For information:

Ishchenko Vasilisa Vladimirovna

Graduate of the Faculty of General Medicine of Kursk State Medical University in 2015.

In 2016, she completed an internship in the direction of “Therapy” and underwent retraining in gastroenterology.

Currently holds the position of a gastroenterologist at the “Expert Clinic” Kursk.Reception is conducted at the address: st. Karl Liebknecht, 7.

90,000 General analysis of blood and urine in Saratov and Engels – (Di Center clinics)

A biochemical blood test is a laboratory diagnostic method that allows you to assess the work of internal organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, etc.), obtain information about metabolism (metabolism of lipids, proteins, carbohydrates), and find out the need for trace elements.

The Medical Dee Center in Saratov and Engels has its own expert-level laboratory.High-class foreign equipment from Germany and the USA allows making detailed analyzes with high accuracy and in just a few hours! You can read about the laboratory and equipment in the article “Analyzes in Saratov and Engels”.

What are the indications for prescribing a biochemical blood test?

A biochemical general blood test is important for the diagnosis of almost all diseases, therefore it is prescribed in the first place.

What indicators are included in the standard complete blood count?

We note right away that in this article we will not indicate the limits of the analysis norm due to the fact that different automatic analyzers perform research in different units of measurement.

Glucose (in blood)

The main test in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.This analysis is very important in the selection of therapy and in assessing the effectiveness of diabetes treatment. A decrease in glucose levels is observed in some endocrine diseases and liver dysfunctions.

Total bilirubin

Yellow blood pigment, which is formed as a result of the breakdown of hemoglobin, myoglobin and cytochromes. The main reasons for an increase in the amount of total bilirubin in the blood: damage to liver cells (hepatitis, cirrhosis), increased breakdown of erythrocytes (hemolytic anemia), impaired outflow of bile (for example, cholelithiasis).

Direct bilirubin (conjugated bilirubin, bound)

Fraction of total blood bilirubin. Direct bilirubin increases with jaundice, which develops due to a violation of the outflow of bile from the liver.

Indirect bilirubin (unconjugated bilirubin, free)

The difference between the indicators of total and direct bilirubin. This indicator rises with an increase in the breakdown of erythrocytes – with hemolytic anemia, malaria, massive hemorrhages in the tissue, etc.p.

AsAT (AST, aspartate aminotransferase)

One of the main enzymes synthesized in the liver. Normally, the content of this enzyme in blood serum is low, since most of it is found in hepatocytes (liver cells). An increase is observed in diseases of the liver and heart, as well as with prolonged use of aspirin and hormonal contraceptives.

ALT (ALT, alanine aminotransferase)

An enzyme synthesized in the liver.Most of it is found and works in liver cells, so the normal concentration of ALT in the blood is low. An increase is observed with mass death of liver cells (for example, with hepatitis, cirrhosis), severe heart failure, and blood diseases.

Gamma-HT (gamma-glutamyltransferase)

An enzyme found primarily in the cells of the liver and pancreas. An increase in its amount in the blood is observed with diseases of these organs, as well as with prolonged intake of alcohol.

Phosphatase alkaline

An enzyme widely distributed in human tissues. The hepatic and bone forms of alkaline phosphatase, the activity of which is determined in the blood serum, are of the greatest clinical importance.

Cholesterol (total cholesterol)

The main blood lipid that enters the body with food, and is also synthesized by liver cells.

Low density lipoprotein (LDL)

One of the most atherogenic, “harmful” lipid fractions.LDL is very rich in cholesterol and, transporting it to vascular cells, are retained in them, forming atherosclerotic plaques.


Plasma neutral fats are an important indicator of lipid metabolism.

Total protein

An indicator that reflects the total amount of proteins in the blood. Its decrease is observed in some diseases of the liver and kidneys, accompanied by increased excretion of protein in the urine. Increase – with blood diseases and infectious and inflammatory processes.


The most important protein in the blood, accounting for about half of all whey proteins. A decrease in the content of albumin can also be a manifestation of some diseases of the kidneys, liver, and intestines. An increase in albumin is usually associated with dehydration.

Potassium (K +)

Electrolyte, which is mainly contained within cells. An increase in the level of potassium in the blood is most often observed in acute and chronic renal failure, a sharp decrease in the amount of excreted urine or its complete absence, most often associated with severe kidney disease.

Sodium (Na +)

The electrolyte is mainly contained in the extracellular fluid, and to a lesser extent – inside the cells. He is responsible for the work of nervous and muscle tissue, digestive enzymes, blood pressure, water metabolism.

Chlorine (Cl-)

One of the main electrolytes found in the blood in an ionized state and plays an important role in maintaining water-electrolyte and acid-base balance in the body.


A substance that plays an important role in the energy metabolism of muscle and other tissues. Creatinine is completely excreted by the kidneys, therefore, the determination of its concentration in the blood is of the greatest clinical importance for the diagnosis of kidney disease.


A substance that is the end product of protein metabolism in the body. Urea is excreted by the kidneys, therefore, the determination of its concentration in the blood gives an idea of ​​the functional abilities of the kidneys and is most widely used for the diagnosis of renal pathology.

Uric acid

One of the end products of protein metabolism in the body. Uric acid is completely excreted by the kidneys. An increase in the concentration of uric acid occurs in kidney stones, other kidney diseases that occur with renal failure.

C-reactive protein (CRP)

A sensitive blood element that responds faster than others to tissue damage. The presence of reactive protein in the blood serum is a sign of an inflammatory process, trauma, penetration of foreign microorganisms into the body – bacteria, parasites, fungi.The more acute the inflammatory process, the more active the disease, the higher the C-reactive protein in the blood serum.

Iron (serum iron)

A vital trace element, which is part of hemoglobin, is involved in the transport and storage of oxygen and plays an important role in the processes of hematopoiesis.

How to prepare for the study?

One day before taking blood for biochemistry, it is necessary to exclude alcohol intake, 1 hour before – smoking.It is advisable to take blood on an empty stomach in the morning. At least 12 hours should elapse between the last meal and blood collection. Juice, tea, coffee, chewing gum are not allowed. You can drink water. It is necessary to exclude increased psycho-emotional and physical stress.

How are the results of a biochemical blood test evaluated?

The use of different diagnostic methods by different clinics leads to unequal results, and the units of measurement may also differ.Therefore, to correctly decipher the result of a biochemical blood test, a consultation with a doctor is required.

Biochemical analyzes of blood and urine make up 25-30% of all analyzes carried out using high-quality reagents made in France, Germany and automatic analyzers of the Selectra series (Netherlands).

Liver profile – causes, diagnosis and treatment

Photo: Shutterstock / FOTODOM

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  • Updated: 18 June 2020

Liver profile is a set of specific blood tests that allows timely diagnosis of liver and biliary diseases bubble.

Hepatic profile – a set of specific blood tests, which allows you to timely diagnose diseases of the liver and gallbladder.

What are the indications for a hepatic profile?

  • liver diseases;
  • cholecystitis;
  • jaundice.

What do the indicators of the liver profile mean?

1) Total protein – an indicator that reflects the total amount of proteins in the blood. A decrease in the content of total protein in plasma is observed in severe liver diseases (due to a decrease in protein synthesis by hepatic cells).

Normal values ​​for total protein: 66-83 g / l.

2) AsAT (AST, aspartate aminotransferase) is one of the main enzymes synthesized in the liver. Normally, the content of this enzyme in blood serum is low, since most of it is found in hepatocytes (liver cells).

Normal AST values:

  • women – up to 31 U / l;
  • 90 260 men – up to 37 U / l.

3) ALAT (ALT, alanine aminotransferase) – an enzyme synthesized in the liver.Most of it is found and works in liver cells, so the normal concentration of ALT in the blood is low.

Normal ALT values:

  • women – up to 34 U / l;
  • 90 260 men – up to 45 U / l.

4) Total bilirubin is a yellow blood pigment that is formed as a result of the breakdown of hemoglobin, myoglobin and cytochromes.

Normal values ​​of total bilirubin: 3.4-17.1 μmol / l.

5) Bilirubin straight (conjugated bilirubin, bound) – fraction of total blood bilirubin.

Normal values ​​of direct bilirubin: 0-7.9 μmol / L.

6) Indirect bilirubin (unconjugated bilirubin, free) – the difference between the indices of total and direct bilirubin.

Normal values ​​for indirect bilirubin: <19 μmol / L.

7) Gamma-GT (gamma-glutamyltransferase) is an enzyme found mainly in the cells of the liver and pancreas.

Normal gamma-GT values:

  • men <55 U / L
  • 90 260 women <38 U / L

8) Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme widely distributed in human tissues.The hepatic and bone forms of alkaline phosphatase, the activity of which is determined in the blood serum, are of the greatest clinical importance.

Normal values ​​of alkaline phosphatase: 30-120 U / L.

9) Cholesterol (total cholesterol) is the main blood lipid that enters the body with food and is also synthesized by liver cells.

Normal cholesterol levels: 3. 2-5.6 mmol / l.

What preparation is needed for the research?

The day before blood sampling, it is necessary to exclude alcohol intake, 1 hour – smoking.It is advisable to take blood on an empty stomach in the morning. At least 12 hours should elapse between the last meal and blood collection. Juice, tea, coffee are not allowed. You can drink water. It is necessary to exclude increased psycho-emotional and physical stress.

What are the deadlines for the analysis?

1 day.

Blood test | Euromed. Private clinic in Omsk. The largest medical center in Omsk

Blood test for hormones, infections, tumor markers and other types of research.It is possible to carry out diagnostics within 2 hours.

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Patients are often worried about the question “where to take a blood test in Omsk”?

Taking a blood test is perhaps the most common medical appointment. This is because blood is a link for various substances between tissues, organs and systems, thereby uniting the internal environment of the body. Most of the processes occurring in the body, in one way or another, affect the state of the blood.But what do we know about blood tests, analyzes and their informational value? Let’s figure it out.

A general blood test, the price of which is usually found at the beginning of any price list, is a basic analysis.
A general clinical blood test (CBC) is prescribed to analyze the liquid part of the blood – plasma and corpuscles – leukocytes, erythrocytes, platelets. Each of them has its own tasks: leukocytes provide immune protection, platelets are responsible for blood coagulation, erythrocytes – for the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide.A change in the number of leukocytes, ESR, a shift in the leukocyte formula may indicate the presence of an inflammatory process in the body, allergic conditions, oncohematological and other diseases. A complete blood count can help identify the disease in the early stages, even before the main symptoms appear. For these reasons, the UAC is included in everything, even preventive examinations.

Hemoglobin analysis is an indicator that is part of the UAC, but it is possible to pass it as a separate test.Hemoglobin is a combination of protein and iron that stains the blood red. Hemoglobin is involved in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. All metabolic processes in cells are directly dependent on hemoglobin, so this is one of the key studies in the diagnosis of anemia and erythremia.

Blood sampling for biochemical analysis is carried out in the treatment room, which is part of the laboratory of the MC “Euromed”, using vacuum systems of the “Vacuett” type. The study of the biochemical composition of the blood will make it possible to assess the functional health of the body and the work of almost all internal organs and systems.A blood test for biochemistry will show a change in the state of protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Blood biochemistry indicators can provide data on lipid, protein, carbohydrate metabolism, as well as primary diagnostics of the state of the kidneys, liver, pancreas and other organs.

The most common biochemical test is a blood glucose test. Due to its high information content and reliability, a blood glucose test has been used in medicine for several decades.The level of glucose in the blood is of great importance in the diagnosis of various diseases, primarily diabetes mellitus.

The price of a biochemical blood test varies depending on what kind of studies the clinician needs to make a diagnosis. The number and composition of studies are determined by the doctor individually for each patient, depending on the complaints presented.

A blood test for trace elements is prescribed to identify the level of the body’s need for trace elements and includes:

  • blood test for calcium;
  • blood test for iron;
  • blood test for potassium;
  • blood test for sodium and many others.other

A blood test for infection is most often a blood test for antibodies. A blood test for HIV, as the name implies, will answer whether a person has an immunodeficiency virus. Such studies are classified as immunological. Most often, an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) method is used to detect the HIV virus and antibodies to this virus. It is important that you can take a blood test for hepatitis and HIV infection anonymously. The same applies to taking a blood test for syphilis.

A blood test for herpes in our laboratory is carried out by two methods: PCR-research: detection of virus DNA in biological material and immunological – determination of antibodies in blood serum, which is based on a specific antigen-antibody reaction.

Determination of the blood group and Rh factor is an immunological study, the principle of which is to identify the presence of antigens on the surface of the erythrocyte and is an individual symptom. Erythrocyte surface antigens of erythrocytes determine the phenotype of erythrocytes or a person’s blood group.

Every citizen should know the main indicators of his blood – the group and the Rh factor. These data are decisive in the provision of emergency medical care. Determination of the Rh factor is mandatory for pregnant women, since there is a risk of developing Rh-conflict between the mother and the fetus.

Blood test for hormones

Hormones, although present in the body in small quantities, play a very important role! When taking blood for hormones, the sex and age of the patient must be taken into account, since the norms for the presence of hormones differ depending on these data. There are many specific hormone tests, the purpose of which may be a specific hormone or a group of them. Tests for hormones are not routinely prescribed, but are carried out in case of suspicion of endocrine pathology.

This type of study also includes a specific analysis – blood for hCG, a hormone responsible for creating the shell of the embryo. This analysis is reliable and specific, allowing early detection of pregnancy.

Tumor markers blood tests

Tumor markers are proteins produced by tumor cells that differ from substances normal for the body or are produced in a clearly excessive amount. Needless to say, how important is the early detection of tumor markers in the blood.It can cost the patient’s life.


The next study is a comprehensive analysis of blood coagulation indicators (hemostasis). A blood test for hemostasis is done in case of diseases of the liver, heart and blood vessels, bleeding or a tendency to thrombosis, habitual miscarriage, patients taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy. This analysis has a separate name, coagulogram. The cost of such a study is always slightly higher than the general clinical one. Timely detection of a violation of the coagulation and anticoagulation system of the blood will make it possible to detect the disease in time and prescribe treatment.

We have reviewed with you many types of blood tests, although, of course, they are not limited to this list.

The main thing is to undergo regular examinations and, if possible, try to carry them out in one medical institution. This is important because different laboratories have different equipment and practice different research methods. For a correct assessment of the results and the possibility of comparison with previous analyzes, donate blood in the same laboratory.

Still have questions?

Patient Memo: Hepatitis C and B

When the hepatitis C virus (abbreviated name – HCV) enters the body, the immune system produces special proteins that the blood carries throughout the body to help fight the hepatitis C virus.They are called antibodies. If you have HCV antibodies, this suggests that you have had contact with HCV. But this does not mean that you have active hepatitis C. In some people (2-3 out of 10), the immune system is able to get rid of the virus on its own, but in the remaining 7-8 people, the body cannot fight the virus.

There are two types of tests used to diagnose past exposure to the hepatitis C virus – ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and ECL (electrochemiluminescence analysis).In this case, the sensitivity and specificity of ELISA is about 90%, and ECL is about 98%, therefore, in extremely rare cases, false-positive and false-negative results are possible.

To determine the presence and activity of the hepatitis C virus, you will need to do additional appropriate tests.

Important to remember:

· Even if you had contact with the hepatitis C virus, your body could get rid of the virus on its own. Therefore, it is important to do additional tests.

· Try not to worry even if your antibody test is positive and additional tests have confirmed active hepatitis C. It usually takes 10 to 40 years for the virus to damage your liver. Plus, there are so many things you can do to keep your liver healthy.

· Only your physician can interpret your individual test results and make a clinical diagnosis.

To clarify the activity of the virus, your doctor, for the purpose of a detailed examination, will prescribe several additional blood tests to find out exactly what is happening inside you.These tests are called PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, which detects the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus present in the blood. One of the tests will answer if you have a virus. Another – will allow you to determine what genotype the virus has (HCV has several genotypes). Another test will determine the viral load – how much hepatitis C virus you have and how active this virus is.

If you have the hepatitis C virus, it does not only remain in the liver cells, it can also be found in your blood.HCV is very active and makes many copies of itself. Viral download testing is the only way to measure how much HCV you have.

Virus Download Analysis is very important for several reasons:

First: Virus download analysis will tell you if you have a virus or if you have already got rid of it.

Second: If you are a pregnant woman, the risk of transmitting the virus to your baby is very low, but if you are a pregnant woman with a high viral load, the risk of transmitting the virus to your baby will be slightly higher.

Third: If you decide to undergo interferon therapy, a viral load test will help the doctor know if the therapy is working and how long it needs to be continued.

REMEMBER: Always do your analyzes in the same laboratory. This will allow correct estimates to be made when comparing the results obtained.

What is genotyping?

The hepatitis C virus (abbreviated HCV) has several varieties. In fact, there are six different types of HCV.These species are called genotypes and are numbered from 1 to 6. Some genotypes have further divisions called subtypes (eg 1a and 1b).

It is very important for the treating doctor to know the genotype of your virus, since different viruses with different genotypes respond to treatment in different ways (respond to therapy). For example, genotype 1 is slightly more difficult to treat than genotypes 2 or 3. And therapy for HCV type 1 requires different doses of drugs than those used for therapy with genotypes 2 or 3.

Having a certain genotype does not mean that you are more or less sick.But some genotypes (like 3) may be associated with certain liver conditions, such as obesity.

It is important to remember that most people have no symptoms of hepatitis C at all – regardless of the genotype of the virus.

Knowing the genotype of the virus is important for several reasons:

First: If you decide to go to therapy, a genotype test will predict your chances of getting rid of the virus.

Second: the virus genotype test will help your doctor determine the required doses of drugs and the duration of your therapy.

REMEMBER: That the presence of a virus of one or another genotype does not mean that you are sicker or more severely.

Important Information:

Statistics for 100 people infected with hepatitis C (HCV)

Approximately 80 out of 100 people diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) will become chronic: the other 20 people infected with HCV will free themselves from the virus. This is because some people are able to cope with HCV naturally.

Approximately 20 people who receive a chronic infection will progress and develop into serious illness over the decades: Only about 20 out of the initial 100 people infected with HCV will develop hepatitis into a serious, life-threatening illness (cirrhosis). Usually, in a person with hepatitis C, the liver becomes really sick for 40 years or more.

Approximately 2-3 people with chronic hepatitis C infection will develop liver cancer: Only 2-3 people out of the initial 100 people diagnosed with hepatitis C virus infection develop liver cancer.This happens only after the liver is heavily affected by cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B

There are various blood tests available to diagnose hepatitis B. A general test or a series of tests can be done. Below are some of the basic tests and their transcripts.

The main test for the detection of hepatitis B – Surface antigen (HBsAg, HBs antigen, HBs Ag, Australian antigen). It is a surface protein of the hepatitis B virus and can be found in the blood in acute or chronic hepatitis, as well as in the case of hepatitis B virus carriage.There are two types of tests used to detect HBsAg – ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and ECL (electrochemiluminescence assay). In this case, the sensitivity and specificity of ELISA is about 90%, and ECL is about 98%, therefore, in extremely rare cases, false-positive and false-negative results are possible.

In order to confirm the presence and activity of the hepatitis B virus, your doctor, for the purpose of a detailed examination, will prescribe several additional blood tests to find out exactly what is happening inside your body.These tests are called PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, which detects the genetic material of the hepatitis B virus present in the blood. One of the tests will answer if you have a virus. The other will determine the viral load – how much hepatitis B virus you have, how active this virus is.

A positive PCR test means that the virus is actively multiplying in the human body and such a person carries a potential risk of contracting hepatitis. If a person has chronic viral hepatitis, the presence of viral DNA also means that the person may be at increased risk of liver damage.

A negative PCR test means the absence of hepatitis B virus in the blood or its extremely low activity.

Important! Only your physician can interpret your individual test results and establish a clinical diagnosis.

90,000 which tumor marker shows liver cancer? Liver tumor marker in cancer patients

If you ask any person what happens in the body with cancer, then many will answer: a tumor is formed from “wrong” cells, which is terrible because it grows into neighboring organs and gives metastases.It is, but if you look deeper, the most important changes occur in genes and molecules. It is because of them that the cell becomes “wrong” – cancerous.

Cancer cells differ from normal cells in that they produce large quantities of certain substances. In turn, other cells start producing some molecules in response to cancer. Levels of these substances can be measured in blood or urine. These are tumor markers , or tumor markers .In addition, expression patterns of (in other words, the study of activity) of some genes in tumor cells are currently used as tumor markers.

On this page we will talk about tumor markers of liver cancer, why they are studied, who needs to be tested and in what cases.

Indications for the analysis of liver tumor markers

Tumor markers in oncology are not used to diagnose cancer. Such analyzes are too unreliable.As we mentioned above, in most cases, tumor markers are produced not only by cancer cells, but also by normal cells. In some conditions not related to cancer, levels may also rise. Thus, false positives are possible. At the same time, if a person is sick with liver cancer, this does not mean that the level of tumor markers will necessarily increase in his blood.

What are these analyzes for? For liver cancer, they are prescribed in the following cases:

  • In order to determine the optimal treatment tactics – when liver cancer has already been diagnosed.
  • To test how well a treatment is working. If the level of tumor markers has decreased, good. If it rises, the therapy is ineffective, you need to change the appointment.
  • To check if the cancer has returned after treatment (has it relapsed).

What types of tumor markers are determined in liver cancer? What are their norms?

The main tumor marker of the liver – alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) . Normally, this protein plays an important role during intrauterine development.First, it is produced in the yolk sac, from the fifth week of pregnancy – in the liver and digestive tract of the unborn child. In the fetus, AFP maintains oncotic blood pressure (in other words, retains fluid inside the vessels), protects the baby from the mother’s immune system.

The level of alpha-fetoprotein is highest in the fetus at 12-14 weeks, and then gradually decreases and becomes approximately the same as in an adult by birth.

Normally, the level of AFP in the blood of an adult should be no more than 7.9 IU / ml (international units per milliliter).In some laboratories, this figure is measured in ng / ml (nanogram per milliliter).

In order to conduct an analysis, you need to take blood from a vein.

The level of AFP in the blood increases in 70–95% of patients with primary liver tumors ( hepatocellular carcinoma ) and in 9% of patients with hepatic metastases. The complete list of indications for analysis is as follows:

  • If the patient has a high risk of developing malignant liver tumors: with chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis.
  • If a patient has a malignant tumor in another organ and it is suspected that it has metastasized to the liver.
  • Suspected germ cell tumors, poorly differentiated types of cancer.
  • After surgical removal of the liver tumor – for control.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of therapy for liver cancer and other oncological diseases.
  • As a screening during pregnancy – to identify some fetal abnormalities.

Other tumor markers for liver cancer:

  • Cancer embryonic antigen (CEA) is a protein that is produced in large quantities in the fetus and stimulates cell proliferation.It is present in very small amounts in an adult’s body and its function is unknown. The CEA level in the blood is normally no more than 3.8 ng / ml in nonsmokers and no more than 5.5 ng / ml in smokers. It increases in cancer of the colon and rectum, lungs, stomach, breast, metastases in the liver, as well as in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
  • Carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) is produced in the digestive tract. Its concentration in the blood is especially strongly increased in cancer of the pancreas (in 70% of patients), in some cases – in hepatitis, cirrhosis, cholelithiasis, liver cancer, gall bladder.Normal values ​​in adults are up to 34 U / ml. Approximately every tenth person does not have a gene encoding this tumor marker, therefore, in cancer, it will not be detected in the blood.
  • Ferritin is a protein with which iron is stored in the human body. Its blood level rises in some pathologies, including acute and chronic liver diseases, breast cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and cancer of the red bone marrow. The norm in adult men is 20–250 mcg / l, in women – 10–120 mcg / l.

Where can I get the test? How to prepare for it?

Tests for tumor markers of liver cancer are carried out in different laboratories. They can be ordered from the European clinic.

Different laboratories may use different blood antigen test methods, so results may not be the same.

Before taking an analysis for alpha-fetoprotein, it is not recommended to eat 4 hours before the study, do not smoke for 30 minutes.

Preparation for studies for other tumor markers of the liver

Analysis for liver tumor marker CEA:

  • Blood is taken on an empty stomach – you cannot eat anything in 8 hours, you can only drink non-carbonated water.
  • 30 minutes before the study, physical activity, psychoemotional stress are prohibited.
  • No smoking within 24 hours.

Analysis for CA 19-9 : No smoking in 30 minutes.

Ferritin Test:

  • Blood is taken on an empty stomach – you cannot eat anything in 8 hours, you can drink non-carbonated water.
  • 30 minutes before the study, physical activity, psychoemotional stress are prohibited.
  • No smoking for half an hour.
  • Stop taking iron supplements within 3 days.

Explanation of indicators: norms and deviations

The rates for liver tumor markers listed in this article are presented in the table:

Oncomarker Normal values ​​in adults
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) <7.9 IU / ml
Cancer embryonic antigen (CEA)
  • <3.8 ng / ml - in non-smokers;
  • 90 260 <5.5 ng / ml - in smokers.

Carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) <34 U / ml
  • 20–250 mcg / l – in men;
  • 10–120 mcg / l – in women.

Only a doctor should prescribe such tests and interpret their results! Levels of tumor markers vary with different diseases, the result can be false negative or false positive. Based on the study of only one indicator in the blood, it is impossible to say for sure whether a person has cancer.

What to do if tumor markers for liver cancer are elevated?

First of all – do not panic and do not rush to “diagnose” your oncological disease. The further plan of action depends on the purpose for which the analysis was assigned:

  • If the analysis for tumor markers was carried out as part of the initial diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe additional tests to find out what caused the increase in their levels.