Do you always have a GGT in your blood repeats?

I have been left wondering whether patients with PBC have the GGT blood test taken when they have their bloods on repeats.

When I did go to the hospital the consultant asked me to have blood done in 3 months after my visit as it was 6 months before my return there. He got a blood sample envelope out and said he'd write what he wanted the GP surgery to do and he said he'd write GGT in some additional space on it as he informed me that it 'is one that is normally missed in PBC'. I know on my return to the hospital it was also taken again.

Given that the last 2 times I've been to the GP surgery (Sept 2011 and last month) I seem to have had certain ones (LFTs and GGT) missed and had to return on another visit for them which is most annoying, has left me wondering about certain ones.

I normally have the full blood count each time (FBC) and I am certain that perhaps the LFTs come grouped together as 'liver' 'bone' and 'kidney'? Then there's the GGT. From what I understand, certain ones in the group, calculations can be made with regards to liver disease, ie the bone one.

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  • Excuse my ignorance but what does GGT stand for?

  • Hi Peridot you seem to be worrying a lot over bloods and the results. I can understand you are concerned but take it from me (diagnosed in 2002 after a yr of suffering the symptoms) dont get hung up on them, the important thing is how you feel. It truly is the best indicator of disease progression. I'm from N.Ireland and here when we have an lft done it consists of ALP,AST,ALT/SGPT,GGT,TOTAL BILIRUBIN AND ALBUMIN. The ones that they watch most closely here are the Bilirubin and the Albumin though I have read on here a lot of our friends in the USA seem to be always very aware of the ALP. Discuss all your concerns with your hepatologist they are the experts and can alleviate some of your worries. If you are not getting the appropriate blood tests done tell him/her and he/she may be able to recommend a local GP more knowledgable in relation to PBC. Hope thats helpful. Take care and try not to worry too much PBC is a SLOW progressive disease you can live a pretty full life with it. BFN.

  • Well thanks for the reply that came through as I was replying to mumofthree.

    Actually I don't worry about the blood results at all, I find it is the fact that it seems a bit of a battle to just have a straight-forward appointment with a nurse/healthcare asst at the GP surgery at intervals without what bloods I am there for when they are apparently on my notes! Then after the bloods are taken I end up having a chase about just to get them.

    Actually after having the LFTs and GGT missed last week and having to return this wk for them taken it has taken me a day extra just to get the results even tho' I was informed yest that the surgery had them but they'd not been looked over. It was the print out I wanted as at the end of the day, given I had a query with a blood test on an insurance form almost 5yrs ago (something I contacted GP surgery about at the time and was informed it was 'nothing' to then be told when I first saw the hospital consultant Oct 2010 that I'd had an abnormal liver function almost 5yrs ago and it should have been followed up but wasn't), it did get me thinking more when abnormal LFTs came about during 2010. Hence I do like to glance at the results.

    My husband collected my results today and it took me about 5mins to just glance and then put away but in by doing so, I know myself that they have decreased somewhat exceptionally good from Oct last year and I'd not have known without seeing the few abnormal figures myself as all I got from the GP was, 'No Action'.

    I now won't be bothering about any bloods for another 3mths+. I do think that with this PBC it can be a good thing for some of us to actually know regardless of figures as I know altho' it is apparently a slow-progessive condition, it isn't known how it is progressing really as it varies from person to person and I have found since diagnose Dec 2010 in the last 2yrs when I've felt not as good in the months prior to blood repeat I've got a good results and then when feeling on top of the world it's not been so good, it seems such a grey area at times without actually having any bloods.

    I find I don't actually think about what could eventually be, has been my motto of living the here and now since before diagnose (as I suspected I might have this prior to diagnose), it would be good to just go tot he GPs for the bloods and then receive them back without what has seemed a bit of a run around.

  • Hello GGT stands for Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase.

    I quote the following from labsonline:-

    'The GGT test helps to detect liver disease and bile duct injury. Doctors can also use the test to help find out the reason for a raised concentration of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) within the bloodstream. Both ALP and GGT are elevated in disease of the bile ducts and in some liver diseases, but only ALP will be elevated in bone disease. If the GGT concentration is normal in a person with a high ALP result, the cause is most likely to be bone disease. GGT can also be used to screen for alcohol abuse (it will be elevated in about 75% of long-term drinkers). Raised GGT concentrations indicate that something is going on with your liver but not specifically what. In general, the higher the result the greater the damage to your liver. '

    I originally had the first GGT back in early 2010 when the GP informed me that he was going to do this blood test to find out if the cause of the elevated LFTs were due to bones or liver.

  • Another test that my Dr. added to the bloodwork, is the AFP=Alpha Feta-Proteins. This is a test done for cancerous tumors in the liver. Mine were normal, but it is important to test this every 6 months, since the risk if higher, if you have PBC, especially for men, since they are at greater risk than women.

  • I always have GGT done with LFTs.

  • I'm in Ireland and the GGT is part of the usual panel - exactly the same as LittleMo.

    While I m here - littlemo, do you mind telling me what part of NI are you in and who your consultant is? I'm in Ireland, just near the border in Donegal... though i work in the north. I see Dr Steele in Letterkenny

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