Liver Function Panel

The Liver Function Panel test contains 1 test with 10 biomarkers.

Description: The Liver Function Panel test, also known as a Hepatic Function Test, is a group of blood tests that assess the overall health and function of the liver. It provides valuable information about liver enzymes, proteins, and other substances that are important for liver function. The Liver Function Panel test helps in the diagnosis and monitoring of liver diseases and evaluates the liver's ability to process and metabolize substances in the body.

Also Known As: Hepatic Panel Test, Liver Function Test, LFT, Liver Enzyme Test, Liver Test, Liver Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation is required

Average Processing Time: 1 to 2 days

When is a Hepatic Function Panel test ordered?

A Liver Function Panel test may be ordered in several situations to assess liver health and function:

  1. Screening for Liver Diseases: The test is commonly used as a routine screening tool to assess liver health, especially in individuals with risk factors such as alcohol abuse, obesity, viral hepatitis, or exposure to hepatotoxic substances.

  2. Evaluation of Abnormal Liver Enzymes: If other blood tests or clinical signs indicate elevated liver enzymes, the Liver Function Panel test helps identify the underlying cause and assess the extent of liver damage or dysfunction.

  3. Monitoring Liver Disease Progression: For individuals diagnosed with liver diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or fatty liver disease, the Liver Function Panel test is ordered to monitor disease progression, evaluate treatment effectiveness, and assess liver function over time.

  4. Preoperative Evaluation: Prior to certain surgical procedures, the Liver Function Panel test may be ordered to evaluate liver function and ensure the patient can tolerate the stress of surgery and metabolize medications properly.

What does a Liver Function Panel blood test check for?

A liver panel is a collection of tests used to diagnose, evaluate, and track the progression of liver illness or damage. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, and it is placed behind the lower ribs in the upper right section of the belly. Drugs and substances that are detrimental to the body are metabolized and detoxified by the liver. It makes blood clotting factors, proteins, and enzymes, as well as regulating hormone levels and storing vitamins and minerals. Bile, a fluid produced by the liver, is delivered to the small intestine via ducts to aid in fat digestion or to the gallbladder to be stored and concentrated for later use.

Inflammation, scarring, bile duct blockages, liver tumors, and liver dysfunction can all be caused by a range of disorders and infections that cause acute or chronic liver damage. Toxins, alcohol, narcotics, and some herbal medications can all be dangerous. Before signs like jaundice, dark urine, light-colored feces, itching, nausea, exhaustion, diarrhea, and unexplained weight loss or increase appear, there may be considerable liver damage. To reduce damage and preserve liver function, early identification is critical.

The liver panel assesses the enzymes, proteins, and chemicals generated, processed, or removed by the liver, as well as those that are altered by liver injury. Some are produced by damaged liver cells, while others indicate a reduction in the liver's ability to execute one or more activities. When these tests are performed combined, they provide a picture of a person's liver's health, an indication of the severity of any liver injury, changes in liver status over time, and a starting point for further diagnostic testing.

Lab tests often ordered with a Liver Function Panel test:

  • GGT
  • Prothrombin Time and International Normalized Ratio
  • LD
  • Hepatitis A Testing
  • Hepatitis B Testing
  • Hepatitis C Testing
  • Emergency and Overdose Drug Testing
  • Ethanol
  • ANA
  • Smooth Muscle Antibody
  • Anti-LKM-1
  • Drugs of Abuse Testing
  • Copper
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • DCP
  • AFP Tumor Markers
  • Alpha-1
  • Antitrypsin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ammonia

Conditions where a Liver Function Panel test is recommended:

A Hepatic Function Panel test is commonly ordered for:

  1. Liver Diseases: The test helps diagnose and monitor various liver diseases, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, drug-induced liver injury, and autoimmune liver diseases.

  2. Alcohol Abuse: Individuals with a history of alcohol abuse may require regular Hepatic Function Panel testing to monitor liver health and assess the impact of alcohol on liver function.

  3. Drug-induced Liver Injury: If a patient is taking medications known to potentially affect liver function, a Hepatic Function Panel test may be ordered to monitor liver enzymes and assess drug-induced liver injury.

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my healthcare provider use a Liver Function Panel test?

Healthcare providers use the results of a Hepatic Function Panel test to:

  1. Assess Liver Function: The test provides information about liver enzyme levels, bilirubin levels, protein synthesis, and coagulation factors, allowing healthcare providers to assess liver function and overall liver health.

  2. Diagnose Liver Diseases: Abnormal results can indicate liver diseases, helping healthcare providers make accurate diagnoses and determine appropriate treatment strategies.

  3. Monitor Disease Progression: The Hepatic Function Panel test helps healthcare providers monitor liver disease progression, assess treatment effectiveness, and adjust management plans accordingly.

  4. Evaluate Overall Health: Abnormal liver function can affect overall health and influence treatment options for other conditions. The test results aid healthcare providers in evaluating the impact of liver dysfunction on overall patient health.

By effectively utilizing the results of a Liver Function Panel test, healthcare providers can assess liver health, diagnose liver diseases, monitor disease progression, and make informed decisions regarding patient care and treatment interventions related to liver function.

What do my Liver Panel Test results mean?

The findings of a liver panel test are not diagnostic of a specific condition; rather, they show that the liver may be malfunctioning. Abnormal liver test results in a person who has no symptoms or recognized risk factors may signal a transitory liver injury or reflect something going on elsewhere in the body, such as the skeletal muscles, pancreas, or heart. It could potentially signal the presence of early liver disease, necessitating more testing and/or periodic monitoring.

The results of liver panels are generally compared. Several sets of results from tests conducted over several days or weeks are sometimes analyzed together to see if a pattern emerges. Each person's test findings will be unique, and they will most likely alter over time. A healthcare professional examines the combined findings of liver tests to learn more about the underlying disease. Further testing is frequently required to discover the cause of the liver damage and/or illness.

Abnormal test results may signal a need to review a person's dosage or medication choice if they are taking medicines that may impact their liver. When a person with liver disease is being monitored, the healthcare provider will look at the findings of the liver panel together to see if liver function or damage is getting worse or better. Increased abnormalities in bilirubin, albumin, and/or PT, for example, may suggest a decline in liver function, whereas steady or improved findings may indicate liver function preservation or improvement.

Understanding Liver Function Tests: A Guide

Liver function tests (LFTs) are a series of blood tests designed to evaluate the health and functionality of the liver. These tests provide valuable insights into liver function, helping healthcare professionals detect and monitor liver diseases, assess liver damage, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments. In this section, we will explore the significance of liver function tests, their purpose, and what the test results indicate. Whether you're curious about liver health or undergoing a liver function test, read on to gain a deeper understanding.

What is a Liver Function Test?

A liver function test, also known as an LFT, is a blood test that measures various enzymes, proteins, and substances in the blood to assess liver function. These tests help identify liver diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease. Additionally, they can detect liver damage caused by alcohol, medications, or other factors. LFTs typically measure levels of enzymes like alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), as well as bilirubin, albumin, and alkaline phosphatase.

Understanding the Importance of Liver Function Tests:

Liver function tests play a crucial role in diagnosing and monitoring liver conditions. They provide valuable information about liver enzyme levels, which can indicate liver inflammation or damage. Elevated levels of ALT and AST, for example, may suggest liver cell damage or disease. High bilirubin levels may point to impaired liver function or a blocked bile duct. These tests also assess albumin levels, which reflect the liver's ability to produce proteins, and alkaline phosphatase levels, which can indicate bile duct or liver damage.

Interpreting Liver Function Test Results:

Liver function test results are typically compared to established reference ranges to determine if they fall within normal limits. Abnormal results may indicate the presence of liver disease or liver dysfunction. However, abnormal results alone are not sufficient for a definitive diagnosis. Further evaluation, including additional tests and medical history assessment, is often necessary to identify the underlying cause of liver abnormalities.

The Liver Panel: A Comprehensive Assessment:

The liver panel is a series of liver function tests that provide a comprehensive assessment of liver health. It includes tests such as ALT, AST, bilirubin, albumin, and alkaline phosphatase, among others. The liver panel offers a more comprehensive view of liver function and helps healthcare professionals evaluate liver conditions comprehensively. It assists in diagnosing liver diseases, monitoring disease progression, and assessing the response to treatment.

Liver Function Tests: A Vital Tool for Liver Health:

Liver function tests are essential for detecting and monitoring liver diseases, assessing liver damage, and ensuring optimal liver function. Regular liver function tests are especially important for individuals with underlying liver conditions, a history of liver disease, or risk factors such as alcohol abuse or certain medications. By detecting liver problems early, healthcare professionals can implement appropriate interventions and treatments to maintain liver health.

Liver function tests are critical tools in assessing liver health and diagnosing liver diseases. These tests measure various enzymes, proteins, and substances in the blood to evaluate liver function and identify potential liver damage or dysfunction. Interpreting liver function test results requires medical expertise and further evaluation. Regular liver function tests, along with a healthy lifestyle and medical guidance, are vital for maintaining optimal liver health. If you have concerns about your liver function, consult with a healthcare professional who can guide you through appropriate testing and care.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: LFTs, Liver Function Tests, Liver Panel


Albumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood.

Albumin/Globulin Ratio

The ratio of albumin to globulin (A/G ratio) is calculated from measured albumin and calculated globulin (total protein - albumin). Normally, there is a little more albumin than globulins, giving a normal A/G ratio of slightly over 1. Because disease states affect the relative amounts of albumin and globulin, the A/G ratio may provide a clue as to the cause of the change in protein levels. A low A/G ratio may reflect overproduction of globulins, such as seen in multiple myeloma or autoimmune diseases, or underproduction of albumin, such as may occur with cirrhosis, or selective loss of albumin from the circulation, as may occur with kidney disease (nephrotic syndrome). A high A/G ratio suggests underproduction of immunoglobulins as may be seen in some genetic deficiencies and in some leukemias. More specific tests, such as liver enzyme tests and serum protein electrophoresis, must be performed to make an accurate diagnosis. With a low total protein that is due to plasma expansion (dilution of the blood), the A/G ratio will typically be normal because both albumin and globulin will be diluted to the same extent.

Alkaline Phosphatase

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. Tissues with higher amounts of ALP include the liver, bile ducts, and bone.


Alanine transaminase (ALT) is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver. Injury to the liver results in release of the substance into the blood.


AST (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme found in high amounts in liver, heart, and muscle cells. It is also found in lesser amounts in other tissues.

Bilirubin, Direct

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.

Bilirubin, Indirect

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.

Bilirubin, Total

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. A small amount of older red blood cells are replaced by new blood cells every day. Bilirubin is left after these older blood cells are removed. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.


Globulins is the collective term for most blood proteins other than albumin. Identifying the types of globulins can help diagnose certain disorders. Globulins are roughly divided into three groups: alpha, beta, and gamma globulins. Gamma globulines include various types of antibodies such as immunoglobulins (Ig) M, G, and A.

Protein, Total

The total protein is the total amount of two classes of proteins, albumin and globulin that are found in the fluid portion of your blood. Proteins are important parts of all cells and tissues. Your albumin helps prevent fluid from leaking out of blood vessels and your globulins are an important part of your immune system.
*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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