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Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)

About the test
What is this test done for?
Alkaline phosphatase is a blood test that measures the amount of alkaline phosphatase levels in the blood, an enzyme produced by the liver and bones.
Why is it Done?
To assess underlying cause when high levels are seen in response to the damage done to the liver, bile duct, or bones.The test is done for
  • Identifying diseases of
    • Liver
    • Bones
    • Parathyroid
  • For evaluating the functioning of the liver, as a routine test
  • For checking the response to treatment for Paget’s disease or vitamin D deficiency
When should it be performed?
This test is performed when a patient
  • Presents with symptoms of liver diseases
    • Jaundice
    • Abdominal pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weakness and fatigue
    • Itching
  • Presents with symptoms of bone diseases
    • Vague muscle or bone pains
    • Poor bone density resulting in fractures repeatedly
    • Joint pains
    • Bone deformities
    • Numbness or tingling sensation
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. No special precautions required, like fasting.
Results
The test result is normal, if levels are 44 – 147 IU/L. It means
  • No liver disease
  • No bone disease
  • Good response to therapy for Paget’s disease
  • Good response to supplementation of vitamin D
The test results are high, if levels are >150 IU/L. It means
  • Biliary obstruction
  • Gall stones
  • Hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Bone disease
  • Osteomalacia
  • Osteoblastic bone tumour
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Paget’s disease
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Rickets
The test results are low, if levels are <40 IU/L. It means
  • Protein deficiency
  • Malnutrition
  • Hypophosphotemia
  • Wilson disease
Other Tests
  • SGOT
    • High levels of SGOT indicate liver diseases like hepatitis and cirrhosis
  • SGPT
    • High levels of SGPT indicate liver diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol related liver disease
  • GGTP
    • High levels of GGTP indicate liver disease
    • GGTP levels help in differentiating between bone and liver diseases
    • GGTP levels are normal in case of bone diseases
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