British Liver Trust
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Understanding blood test results

A bit of a contentious issue at times, but trying to make sense of blood test results, I don't find easy. Even having read the BLT paper on the subject, even this doesn't explain how each result ties in with each other.

Cutting a little ng story short, I have had 3 tests over the last 4 months following on from those 12 months ago. In that time, Bilirubin has fallen from 15 to 8, ALP from 123 to 81, AST from 42 to 34, ALT risen slightly from 35 to 41, Total Protein from 82 to 74, with Albumin rising from 39 to 48, and Globulin falling from 43 to 26. All well within range, as indeed all others to ncluding cholesterol (4.3).. The only raised item is GGT, standing at 183, but even that has fallen from 237 last year, and has fallen with each test.

In my naive mind, these appear positive, as the bad ones have fallen, and the good risen, and have been consistently. However, you then read that in fact blood tests don't actually have any bearing on liver health. So I suppose the question is, what is the point of them?

Apologies to the BLT for posting results.


3 Replies

I wonder what the point is in any blood tests when doctors just ignore the results, story of my life !

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The reading of LFT's is indeed an enigma and it is why we have doctors and experts in the field to read them and diagnose what is going on.

It's a puzzler when you see someone like my hubby who has known cirrhosis with at times late stage symptoms yet he has absolutely normal Liver Function Test results with only his AST very, very slightly out of range and one white blood cell count too.

It's a complicated state of affairs but there are some of the LFT's which are definitive to show that a liver is struggling and these are the ones on which the transplant listing criteria are based - INR that is blood clotting time, serum bilirubin, serum creatine and serum sodium - these are the ones that are looked at to calculate your UKELD score and the score required for transplant listing.

I found an online article which goes into blood test results in some detail, its an interesting read or if you are suffering from insomnia it might help you drift off.

From the looks of yours Charl1e, all looks good but it would be up to a doctor to give you the definitive ok and if unsure they should send you for further tests or imaging.


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Hi Katie,

Thank you for your reply. Sorry to hear of your husbands health issues. I read the article, which is probably the most comprehensive I've read to date. The whole thing is quite fascinating in a way, in as much as there seems to be no actual definitive answer.


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