The Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: A Gamma Glutamyl Transferase or GGT test is a test that measures that level of GGT in your blood’s serum to check for a variety of conditions related to liver health such as hepatitis or cirrhosis along with diabetes and heart health.
Also Known As: Gamma Glutamyltransferase GGT test, Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test, Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase Test, Gamma-GT Test, GGTP Test, GTP Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a GGT test ordered?
When someone has an increased ALP level, a GGT test may be ordered. Even if no symptoms are present, an ALP test may be conducted alone or as part of a standard liver panel to screen for liver disease. When the ALP test results are high but the other tests in the liver panel are not, a GGT test may be ordered.
When a person has indications or symptoms that imply liver disease, GGT may be administered in conjunction with or as a follow-up to other liver function tests. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of liver damage:
- Weakness and exhaustion
- Appetite loss.
- Vomiting and nausea
- Swelling and/or pain in the abdomen
- Urine that is dark in color and feces that is light in color
GGT may also be done after someone with a history of alcohol abuse has finished alcohol treatment to ensure that the treatment program is being followed.
What does a GGT blood test check for?
Glutamyl transferase is an enzyme found throughout the body, with the liver having the highest amount of it. GGT levels in the blood are raised in most disorders that affect the liver or bile ducts. This test determines the amount of GGT present in a blood sample.
GGT is normally present in tiny amounts, however when the liver is harmed, the level of GGT might grow. When any of the bile ducts that convey bile from the liver to the intestines become clogged, GGT levels are usually the first liver enzyme to become elevated in the blood. It's the most sensitive liver enzyme test for diagnosing bile duct issues because of this.
However, because it can be raised with many types of liver disorders, the GGT test is not highly specific and is not effective in differentiating between various causes of liver damage. As a result, the GGT test is not suggested for usage on a regular basis. It can, however, be used in conjunction with other tests to determine the source of a high alkaline phosphatase level, which is another liver enzyme.
In liver disorders, both GGT and ALP are elevated, whereas only ALP is elevated in diseases that impact bone tissue. As a result, GGT can be used as a follow-up test to establish whether an elevated ALP result is related to liver or bone illness.
When even small amounts of alcohol are consumed, GGT levels can sometimes rise. Chronic heavy drinkers have higher levels than persons who drink less than 2 to 3 drinks per day or who only drink heavily on rare occasions. The GGT test can be used to determine whether someone is suffering from acute or chronic alcoholism.
Lab tests often ordered with a GGT test:
- Hepatic Function Panel
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
Conditions where a GGT test is recommended:
- Liver Disease
Commonly Asked Questions:
How does my health care provider us a GGT test?
The gamma-glutamyl transferase test can be used to figure out why your alkaline phosphatase is high. In bile duct illness and several liver diseases, both ALP and GGT are increased, while only ALP is elevated in bone disease. As a result, if a person's GGT level is normal but their ALP is high, the culprit is most likely bone disease.
The GGT test can be used to diagnose liver disease and bile duct blockages. Other liver tests such as ALT, AST, ALP, and bilirubin are frequently ordered in conjunction with or as a follow-up to this test. An elevated GGT level shows that a person's liver is being damaged in general, but it does not particularly point to a condition that could be causing the damage.
GGT can be used to test for chronic alcohol abuse and to monitor for alcohol use in patients undergoing alcoholism or alcoholic hepatitis therapy.
What do my GGT test results mean?
An high GGT level indicates that the liver is being harmed by a condition or disease, but it does not specify what that ailment or disease is. In general, the higher the level, the worse the liver damage. Elevated levels can be caused by liver illnesses like cirrhosis or hepatitis, but they can also be caused by other conditions like congestive heart failure, diabetes, or pancreatitis. They can also be caused by alcohol misuse or the use of liver-toxic medications.
A GGT test result that is low or normal suggests that a person does not have liver disease or has not recently consumed alcohol.
A high GGT level can help rule out bone disease as the source of an elevated ALP level, but if GGT is low or normal, bone disease is the most likely explanation.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.