What is a gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test?
The quantity of gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) in the blood is determined using a GGT test. While GGT is an enzyme present throughout the body, the liver is where it is most frequently found. The circulation may become contaminated with GGT if the liver is destroyed. Elevated levels of GGT in the blood might indicate liver illness or bile duct injury. Bile enters and exits the liver through tubes called bile ducts. The liver produces a fluid called bile. For digestion, it is essential.
The precise cause of the liver disease cannot be determined by a GGT test. As a result, it is generally performed concurrently with or following other liver function tests, most frequently an alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test. Another kind of liver enzyme is ALP. It is frequently utilized to aid in the diagnosis of bone problems as well as liver illness.
What is it used for?
A GGT test is used to diagnose the following:
- Liver disease
- Determine whether liver damage is the result of liver illness or a bone condition.
- Check for blockages in the bile ducts.
- Screen for alcohol use disorder.
What is the need of a GGT test?
One might need a GGT test if they have symptoms of liver disease. Symptoms include:
You might also need this test if you have abnormal results on an ALP test and other liver function tests.
What happens during a GGT test?
During a GGT test, a tiny needle will be used by a medical practitioner to draw blood from a vein in your arm. Once the needle has been inserted, a little quantity of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. As the needle enters or leaves your body, it could sting a little. Often, this takes only a few minutes.
How to prepare for the test?
It's essential to inform your healthcare professional about any medications or dietary supplements you're taking before the test since many different kinds of supplements and medications can potentially alter your GGT levels. Your doctor might ask you to stop using a drug before the test in specific circumstances. If your doctor instructs you to stop taking medication, stop it.
Your doctor may advise not drinking for at least 24 hours before the test because even small amounts of alcohol can raise GGT levels.
Is there any risk associated with the GGT test?
There is no risk or danger of getting a blood test. Some people can have some little discomfort or bruising where the needle was inserted, but most effects will go after some time.
What do the findings imply?
If your GGT levels are greater than usual, this might indicate liver damage. One of the following conditions might be causing the damage:
The outcomes are unable to identify the ailment causing your liver impairment. Liver damage increases with increasing GGT levels.
You probably don't have liver disease if your test results indicate low or normal levels of GGT.
The outcomes of an ALP test may also be compared to your findings. Bone diseases can be diagnosed with ALP testing. Your combined findings may indicate one of the following:
- Elevated levels of both ALP and GGT indicate that your symptoms are probably caused by a liver illness rather than a bone issue.
- It is more likely that you have a bone problem if you have high levels of ALP and low or normal GGT.
Speak with your healthcare professional if you have any queries regarding your results.