What is an Alkaline Phosphatase Test?
Alkaline Phosphatase Test measures the quantity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in the blood. ALP is an enzyme present in the body. Most ALP is present in your liver, bones, kidneys, and digestive tract.
ALP levels in the blood can indicate various health problems, including liver illness, bone abnormalities, and chronic kidney disease. However, because an alkaline phosphatase test cannot identify the source of ALP in your blood, further tests are generally required to diagnose.
What is the use of the Alkaline Phosphatase Test?
An alkaline phosphatase test is frequently used to screen for liver or bone problems. The test may also aid in the diagnosis or monitoring of other medical disorders.
What is the need of an Alkaline Phosphatase Test?
The doctor may prescribe an alkaline phosphatase test as part of a routine health checkup. Because ALP levels can be affected by various diseases, the test is frequently performed in conjunction with other blood tests. Other tests may include a complete metabolic panel (CMP) or liver function tests to determine how well your liver is functioning.
If you have signs of liver damage or a bone problem, an alkaline phosphatase test may be recommended. Among the symptoms of liver disease are:
Symptoms of bone disorders include:
- Pain in your bones
- Inflammation and arthritis
- Bones that are unusually shaped and/or too large
- Broken bones
What happens during Alkaline Phosphatase Test?
During an alkaline phosphatase test a blood test will be done. During the test, a healthcare provider will use a tiny needle to draw blood from a vein in your arm. After the insertion of the needle, a little amount of blood will be collected in a test tube or vial. You might feel a slight sting or discomfort when the needle goes in or out. This normally takes five minutes.
How to prepare for the test?
The preparation for an alkaline phosphatase test is determined by the lab performing the test. Some laboratories need you to fast (not eat or drink) for 6 to 12 hours before the test. In addition, the ALP test is generally ordered in conjunction with other blood tests. Before these exams, you should normally fast for several hours. If there are any particular instructions to follow, your provider will notify you.
Is there any risk in the test?
Having a blood test poses no relative risk or danger. You may experience discomfort or bruising where the needle was inserted, but most ir will go soon.
What do the findings imply?
A high level of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) may indicate a liver disease or a bone condition. Different forms of ALP are caused by liver and bone diseases. However, your test results cannot tell you which form of ALP is elevated.
If your ALP levels are high, your physician may conduct further tests to assist in determining what's causing the problem. Among these tests are:
- ALP isoenzyme testing: This test can determine which portion of your body produces ALP. However, this test may not be available everywhere.
- Liver function tests: If the findings of these tests are likewise high, your high ALP level is most likely the outcome of liver disease.
High alkaline phosphatase levels in your liver might indicate:
- Blockages in the bile ducts
- Mononucleosis, which can sometimes cause swelling in the liver
If alkaline phosphatase levels are high and liver tests come back normal, the problem might be a bone illness such as Paget's disease of bone. This illness causes your bones to become abnormally big and weak, making them more prone to breaking.
ALP levels that are somewhat elevated may indicate various diseases, including Hodgkin lymphoma,heart problems, or certain infections.
Important information to know about the Alkaline Phosphatase Test?
ALP levels can be affected by a variety of factors. ALP levels might rise above normal during pregnancy. When the bones are developing, children and teenagers may have elevated ALP levels. Birth control drugs and some medications can reduce ALP levels, while other medications might raise them. A fatty meal before an alkaline phosphatase test may also induce a little rise in ALP.