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LFT - What, Why, How of Liver Function Test
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LFT – What, Why, How of Liver Function Test

Liver function test (LFT test) is also known as the liver panel test or liver chemistries that determine the overall health condition of your liver. This liver test measures various enzymes, proteins, bilirubin, and other substances in your blood. This LFT blood test is also referred by doctors to monitor the progress of an existing liver disease treatment. This test is also performed to screen some diseases, including hepatitis, the severity of liver diseases, side effects of medicines, and so on. If your Liver Function Test Report shows the LFT normal range, it means your liver is working fine.



Test Summary 

Also known as Liver Function Test, Liver Panel Test, Liver Chemistries
Test Type Blood
Liver function test includes ALT, AST, ALP, Albumin Test, Bilirubin Test, GGT, LD, PT
Preparation You may need to fast 10-12 hrs. before the test
Reporting Within 24 hrs
Test price The price of this test may vary from city to city and from lab to lab
Also included in Health Insurance Plans
Related tests C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Blood Sugar Test, CBC, Ultrasound, Fibroscan, Liver Biopsy


What is the LFT Test?

The LFT test monitors the condition of your liver. Under certain situations, this test is recommended by the doctor.

  • Certain medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, and anemia
  • To monitor certain liver diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cirrhosis, fibrosis, etc.
  • If you already have liver disease, this test will help your doctor to monitor the progress of your treatment
  • If you have a family history of liver disease like fatty liver disease
  • To monitor side effects of certain medications NSAIDs, Statins, antibiotics, tuberculosis drugs, etc.
  • If you drink alcohol frequently
  • If you have a gallbladder disease

Types of LFT Test

  • Alanine Transaminase (ALT): This enzyme presents in your liver and converts proteins into energy for the liver cells. If your liver is damaged, ALT is released into the bloodstream and its level increases.
  • Aspartate Transaminase (AST): This enzyme assists in metabolizing amino acids. An increase in AST levels may show liver damage, disease, or muscle damage.
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): This enzyme is present in the liver and bone and is imperative for breaking down proteins. Higher levels of ALP may indicate liver damage or disease.
  • Albumin and Total Protein: This protein is made by the liver. Your body requires this protein to fight various infections and to perform other functions.
  • Bilirubin: Bilirubin passes through the liver and is expelled in the stool. Elevated levels of bilirubin (jaundice) may indicate liver damage or disease.
  • Gamma-Glutamyltransferase (GGT): GGT is an enzyme in the blood. Higher levels of GGT may indicate liver or bile duct damage.
  • L-lactate Dehydrogenase (LD): LD usually presents in the liver. An enhanced level of this enzyme may indicate liver damage.
  • Prothrombin Time (PT): PT is the time it takes your blood to clot. Increased PT may indicate liver damage but may be enhanced due to several other reasons like blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin.

LFT Test Normal Range

Parameters Unit Normal range
BILIRUBIN -TOTAL mg/dl 0.3-1.2


PROTEIN – TOTAL gm/dl 5.7-8.2
ALBUMIN – SERUM gm/dl 3.2-4.8
SERUM GLOBULIN gm/dl 2.5-3.4


Liver function test results may vary from lab to lab and might be marginally different for women and children. Depending on your LFT test report, your doctor will decide what treatments you need for your disease.

How do you Prepare for the Test?

Some foods and medications may interfere with the results of your liver function tests. Your doctor will advise you to stay away from eating food and taking some medications before the test.

What Can You Expect from a LFT Test?

During the Test

Once you reach your nearest hospital or lab, a technician will collect the blood sample for liver function tests by inserting a small needle into a vein (preferably from the upper arm). The needle is attached to a small tube where your collected blood will be deposited. You may experience sharp pain when the needle is inserted into your arm.

After the Test

Your sample will be sent to the laboratory for further analysis. You may get the results after some hours.


What is LFT Full Form?

The full form of LFT is the Liver Function Test

What are the Side Effects of the LFT Test?

Blood tests are safe and have minimal side effects. You may experience the following things after being given a blood sample for the LFT test.

      1. Bruise
      2. Sharp Pain
      3. Soreness

But, all these symptoms will be dissolved within a day or two.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease?

The signs and symptoms of liver disease may include

      1. Weakness
      2. Fatigue
      3. Loss of appetite
      4. Nausea
      5. Vomiting
      6.Abdominal swelling
      7. Pain in the abdomen,
      8. Yellowing of eyes or skin (jaundice)
      9. Dark urine
      10.Light-colored stool
      11. Itching
      12. Diarrhea

Why is Family History Important in the case of Liver Disease?

You may inherit some liver diseases like hemochromatosis (deposition of iron salts in the tissues), alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, and Wilson disease from the family. These diseases may damage your liver. Early detection of these diseases may help you to choose the right treatment for you.

Should you inform the Doctor if you are taking some medications for Liver Disease?

You must inform your doctor if you are consuming medicines or supplements as they might influence your test results.

What you should not do before a Liver Function Test?

Your doctor may ask you to make a fast for 10-12 hrs. before the test. If you are taking any medications, please inform the doctor about the same.

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