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Liver function tests are a group of blood tests that provide information about the state of your liver.

What are the benefits of liver function tests?

A liver panel is a group of tests that are performed together to detect, evaluate, and monitor liver disease or damage. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body and metabolises and detoxifies drugs and substances that are harmful to the body.

Is having a liver function test right for me?

Liver function tests may be requested if you have signs and symptoms of liver disease.

These symptoms can include:

  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal swelling and/or pain
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine, light coloured stool
  • Itching

The liver can be subject to a variety of diseases and infections causing acute or chronic damage, inflammation, scarring, bile duct obstructions, clotting abnormalities, and liver dysfunction. A significant amount of liver damage may be present before symptoms emerge. Early detection is essential in order to minimise damage and preserve liver function.

What happens during a liver function test?

The basic Liver Function Test Profile measures enzymes, proteins, and substances that are produced or excreted by the liver and are affected by liver injury. Some are released by damaged liver cells and some reflect a decrease in the liver’s ability to perform one or more of its functions.

When performed together, these tests give a snapshot of the health of the liver, an indication of the potential severity of any liver injury, change in liver status over time, and a starting place for further diagnostic testing. The panel consists of several tests that are run at the same time on a blood sample.

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