liver function test
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liver function test (LFT)
liver function test,
A blood test for a specific aspect of liver metabolism. Because of the diversity of liver functions and the disorders that may affect those functions, no single test provides a reliable measure of overall liver function. The ability to excrete bile pigments is measured by determining the serum bilirubin level; the levels of serum enzymes such as the aminotransferases aspartate and alanine may be used to assess damage to the liver cells and biliary tract obstruction or dysfunction. Levels of the serum proteins albumin and globulin and their ratio are used to judge the synthetic functions of the liver. Certain blood clotting factors are also synthesized in the liver, and abnormalities may indicate impairments in hepatic synthesis. Blood ammonia levels are elevated in some patients with either acute or chronic liver disease; marked elevations may suggest acute or chronic liver failure.See: liver