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LIVER >> Liver Function Tests >> AST and ALT
It is important to clarify that ALT and AST levels do not reflect the function of the liver, even though they commonly are referred to as liver function tests or LFTs. They only are used to detect inflammation due to injury or damage to the liver from any source. Even in conditions when AST and ALT are very elevated, the liver may function properly.

Aside from AST and ALT, there are other enzymes including alkaline phosphatase, 5'-nucleotidase (“5 prime” nucleotidase), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) that are often used to detect for liver disease.

Alkaline phosphatase is a liver enzyme that is frequently measured. This enzyme is usually found in the walls of the bile ducts (tube-like structures within the liver that connect liver cells together). Elevation of alkaline phosphatase may indicate an injury to the biliary cells. Common causes of biliary injury or biliary obstruction (cholestasis) are gallstones and certain mediations, although, some of the conditions listed previously can also raise the levels of this enzyme. Alkaline phosphate is also found in the bone and can be elevated in bone diseases. GGT and 5' nucleotidase levels can be elevated in biliary conditions (disease of the gallbladder and bile ducts) along with alkaline phosphatase.

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