Liver samples are the most popular laboratory test of blood, which gives a general idea of the activities of the specified internal organ. An objective assessment helps the doctor to identify possible liver pathologies, for which comprehensive biochemical indicators should be thanked. The system also aims to monitor the dynamics of possible undesirable changes, which is characteristic of long-term therapy. Most often it concerns a large course of treatment with a huge range of pharmacological products that have a hepatotoxic effect. We are talking about classical chemotherapy during the treatment of cancer, tuberculosis of the lungs and bronchi, many other extensive deviations of the immune system and individual systems of the body.
A blood test is rarely positioned as a preventive measure. Usually he is sent to take if the treating doctor has a suspicion about failures in liver activity. Prevention is the control slice on a regular basis during long-term use of antibiotics or other strong medications. In this scenario, increased results are quite expected developments.
In this situation, the specialist will always have a backup option with a painted scheme to neutralize or at least reduce the toxic load on one of the most important filters of the body.
But sometimes a referral for a clinical trial is issued to those who have characteristic symptoms, which cannot be explained by other diseases. Classical signs include the manifestation of jaundice of the sclera and skin. Additionally, the victim suffers from heaviness in the right side of hypochondrium and even a pronounced pain syndrome. Often, patients have a bitter taste in the mouth, as well as nausea and fever.
In addition to the fact that the test is needed to assess the dynamics of diseases that provoke destabilization of the liver, it also monitors the hepatobiliary system. We are talking about possible inflammation of the bile ducts, stagnation of bile, hepatitis viral or toxic origin. Sometimes the study even helps to clarify the diagnosis, which is based on parasitic intervention.
What the samples show will tell you how badly the hepatocytes have been damaged - this is how medical terminology refers to cells that form about 70% of the total number of natural filter tissues. The detected damage at an early stage allows for adjustments to the program of previously approved treatment with drug-induced liver damage factors.
Another important source of all problems is chronic alcoholism. If the patient is a lover of a drink, then his performance will be far from the average. A detailed picture of what is happening is intended to indicate whether an irreversible mechanism of damage to the internal organ has started. Often we are talking about cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatosis.
Before you take the analysis, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of the preparatory stage. Assigned to the study strictly for the first half of the day, when the victim has not had time to eat. About 10 hours after the last meal should arrive before the reception, so it is more convenient to get tested early in the morning. But you can drink, but only if it is not sweet drinks with added sugar, or soda water. Such strict measures are aimed at ensuring that the result is truthful, and not distorted due to external random factors.
There are some more practical recommendations that laboratory technicians advise you to follow in order to get a clean result:
- avoid physical exertion before surrender, until the refusal of morning exercises;
- do not consume alcoholic beverages the night before;
- Do not smoke in the morning before the scheduled time.
The blood itself is taken from a vein, which is located at the elbow bend. To obtain the most reliable information, specialists resort to modern automated biochemical analyzers.
Ignoring the above rules threatens that the samples will be overestimated. At best, the victim will be sent to redo everything anew, and at the worst - they will prescribe medications for ailments, which are not really there.
In addition to refusing to follow the tips, there are several other factors that can distort the final information:
- data collection during pregnancy;
- the effect of some pharmacological drugs;
- strong pressure with a tourniquet on a vein;
- commitment to a vegetarian style of eating;
- lack of physical activity in everyday life.
The collected data allow us to make an assessment of the functional hepatic activity as a whole, as well as to identify possible bile congestion, at the same time finding damage to the cell structure. The latter, depending on the degree of damage and the area of the inflammatory process, affects the quality of the biosynthesis produced.
All pathologies have their own “handwriting”, changing the generally accepted indicators by several parameters at once.
What will tell the result
Typically, the functional aspects are deciphered after the attending doctor receives an encrypted document in his hands with the results of the examination. Biochemistry will tell in detail about whether the internal organ copes with the responsibilities assigned to it, and whether it manages to absorb the incoming toxic elements. In the normal state, he must remove them from the circulatory system to prevent poisoning the body from the inside.
The main parameters that are needed to control the stability of the liver are:
- prothrombin time;
- Alkaline defense;
The first paragraph provides for blood protein, which is contained in large quantities. It is produced by liver cells. Despite the importance of the level of total protein, a real expert will pay attention mostly to the change in the ratio of individual protein fractions.
Although albumin does not fall into the category of highly sensitive indicators, high or underestimated parameters suggest that the patient suffers from abnormalities in the work of not only the liver, but also the kidneys. This is usually the result of malnutrition. The reasons for reducing the concentration of the element are:
- neoplasms of various etiologies;
- rheumatic diseases;
- bowel disease.
Not only pregnancy, but also malnutrition, as well as oral contraceptives can affect the integrity of the measurement of albumin. If the injured sample is increased or decreased in a given parameter, then this indicates that the person has received severe dehydration, due to which the viscosity of his blood has become much stronger.
An equally important aspect of testing is the prothrombin time, which is aimed at controlling the ability of the liver to synthesize clotting of blood. If the norm is not detected in the analysis, and the result indicates a decrease in the index, then this indicates a vitamin K deficiency. Usually, after an unsuccessful cut, the doctor prescribes it to correct the situation, but if the picture doesn’t shift towards improvement after repeated measurements, then the source is seek to destabilize the liver.
When considering transaminases, it should be borne in mind that this graph in the encrypted conclusion includes two points:
They indicate the presence of a pathological process that is localized in hepatocytes, skeletal muscles, brain cells and myocytes. Typically, deviations in a given aspect indicate high risks of injury:
- hepatitis infection format;
- myocardial infarction;
- hepatic cirrhosis;
- a tumor that has metastases.
Non-standard values also tell about chronic alcoholism and pancreatitis, as a direct consequence of the unstoppable craving for drinking. The table of normal boundaries for AST covers the numbers from 7 to 40 Chalk, and for ALT - from 5 to 30 Chalk. If the numbers jumped sharply to the boundary level of 300 units or even more, then this is evidence of toxic or viral etiology of hepatitis.
If the victim has the exact opposite picture, then there are only three main reasons for what is happening:
- insufficient intake of vitamin B6;
- renal failure.
Doctors emphasize that special attention in the study of information obtained during the test, should be given bilirubin. He is the first to respond to a change in the body’s ability to cope with its direct responsibilities.
Direct or indirect bilirubin increases if the patient suffers from hepatitis of any form, or suffers from obstruction of the bile ducts. Sometimes the average indicator of an element receiving hepatotoxic drugs, or a congenital type of pathology, associated with the inability of the body to ensure the flow of bile at a sufficient level. Increased elevation of the element can be a side effect of a low-calorie diet or fasting.
Of particular difficulty for the average person is the GGTP graph, since not all people far from medicine understand what is included in this concept. This item helps to identify diseases at the start, when other specific parameters remain within reason. An increase in the criterion indicates an emerging hepatitis of toxic or infectious etiology. The same will be traced if the victim is faced with obstruction of the bile ducts, as well as metastatic hepatic lesion.
Among other possible primary sources of deviations are:
- alcoholic hepatitis;
- pathology of the pancreas;
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- heart pathologies.
Contraceptive use may be another trigger to increase GGT.
The final criterion is called alkaline phosphatase, which, in an enlarged form, is the standard for children. The older a person becomes, the less it should remain. Healthy alkaline phosphatase ranges from 50 to 150 Chalk.
The increased level signals the growth of bone tissue, the formation of metastases in the bone structure, obturation of various origins of the bile ducts, as well as liver damage due to medications.
An abnormally high alkaline phosphatase, if the analysis was not conducted to a child, may indicate endocrine diseases, which are provoked by a change in the concentration of hormones responsible for their gland production. It is noteworthy that underestimated figures for a given criterion may also indicate a failure of the thyroid gland.
Additional signaling devices
Usually, the prices of liver tests in each city are kept at the same price policy, regardless of the clinic, so that everyone can choose the best service option for themselves. With the results obtained, the patient is sent to the treating physician so that he prescribes concomitant treatment.
Sometimes, to establish an accurate diagnosis, it will be necessary to undergo a series of additional studies, such as ultrasound examination or computed tomography with the use of the contrasting stage.
Also, in case of controversial situations, the doctor may, at the same time as traditional tests, assign a referral for coagulation tests. They are made together with the main procedure, providing information regarding the ratio of protein fractions.
For convenience, this strategy is divided into two subparagraphs:
The first tells whether there is an acute process in the body. In the first five days in acute hepatitis, the thymol test in 80% of cases will indicate that there is something wrong in the body. It seems a little strange that with obstructive jaundice this parameter for some reason remains within the normal range. But lab technicians have long figured out with such cunning, using the findings to differentiate the type of jaundice.
The sublimate analogue deals with chronic processes, allowing the on-line monitoring of hepatic functions.
With hepatitis and cirrhosis, the sample will be positive, even if these diseases are not yet in an advanced stage of the course.
A positive verdict will be made if the parenchyma is damaged, which is caused by an infectious or toxic lesion. Helps to determine the severe abnormalities of fibrinogen, which takes place in the category of special proteins circulating in the bloodstream. It helps to form blood clots when bleeding.
An experienced doctor will necessarily take into account the totality of all the listed criteria to confirm or refute their suspicions.