Liver Function Test


The liver is the principal detoxing organ that detoxes our blood. It is also the organ that metabolises alcohol, medicines and other chemicals

Fatty liver is one of the most common lifestyle-related condition that we see and it need not be always related to alcohol consumption. When fat accumulation in the liver is above 5%, it is considered a fatty liver.

The good news is that the initial stage fatty liver is reversible with proper lifestyle management.

However, if unattended & with alcohol consumption, could progress to more serious steatohepatitis (inflammation) and then fibrosis (inflammation + scarring of liver tissue) which could eventually lead to cirrhosis (inflammation + scarring + damage)

Fatty liver test

The first step towards understanding the liver function is a blood test to determine the level of certain enzymes in the blood. These enzymes that are seen primarily in the liver gets discharged to the blood if the liver is damaged. Hence, an elevated level of these enzymes in the blood implies a damaged liver.

The most commonly checked enzymes for primary diagnosis are aminotransferases enzymes – i.e SGOT & SGPT. Apart from this, AGT, Bilirubin, GGT etc are also checked

SGOT, also known as AST is normally found in the liver, heart, muscle, kidney, and brain tissues. They are hence released to blood when any of the above-mentioned organs are inflamed or damaged. An elevated level of SGOT hence means inflammation to any of the organs, viz – liver, heart, muscle, kidney etc. (SGOT levels are high in a heart attack)

SGPT, also know as ALT is found largely in the liver, muscles, also in other tissues. However, the SGPT enzyme is seen more in the liver than in other organs. Hence an elevated level of SGPT in the blood test is a much more reasonable indicator of fatty liver or liver damage

The normal range of SGOT & SGPT are 30 & 40 units per liter of serum respectively (Range can vary depending on the method/technique used by the diagnostic lab to assess these levels)

Interpreting elevated AST and ALT levels is based on entire clinical evaluation and hence best done by experienced medical practitioners (doctors)

Managing Fatty Liver

Fatty liver can be managed and reasonably reversed if it is caused due to a bad lifestyle. A well structured nutrition plan along with exercises, thereby managing weight is the key to managing this

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