ZocdocAnswersCould the test they did on my liver have missed something?

Question

Could the test they did on my liver have missed something?

I had a liver test done. I think it is called a liver function test. They said there was nothing in the test that showed a problem with my liver but I am convinced that something is wrong. Could the test have missed something?

Answer

As their name implies, liver function tests are laboratory tests routinely used to evaluate the liver. The test includes measurement of two specific enzymes produced by liver cells (called AST and ALT) as well as alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme that reflects gallbladder function, as well as bilirubin. ALT and AST become elevated when liver cells are damaged and dying and leaking their enzymes into the circulation. Alkaline phosphatase is elevated in cases where flow out of the gallbladder (which is surrounded by the liver) is obstructed. If the liver is not working properly, then it will not be able to process bilirubin, a natural breakdown product in the body, and levels will be elevated. In general, if all of these tests are completely normal, it does greatly decrease the chance that there is a problem with your liver. It sounds like you have a specific reason for being concerned that something is wrong with your liver, and in that case the best thing to do is to discuss this with your doctor. He or she can go over all of your test results as well as your history and any concerns you may have. There are other tests and imaging that can be done to evaluate the liver, but determining whether this would be indicated in your case depends upon further evaluation by your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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