Test Detail
Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's

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Written by
Dr. Shreya Gupta
BDS, MDS - Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum

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Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum
You need to provide
Blood
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Overview


What is Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum?

Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum test is also known as ALP. This test measures the levels of alkaline phosphatase. This test is done to screen or monitor treatment for a liver or bone disorder.


Why is Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum done?

The Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum test is done:

  1. As a part of liver function test 

  2. If you have signs or symptoms of a liver disorder like loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, and itching 

  3. If you have signs or symptoms of bone disease like bone pain and increased frequency of fractures


What does Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum Measure?

The alkaline phosphatase, serum test measures the alkaline phosphatase levels in the blood. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme which is found in various tissues throughout the body. The maximum concentrations of ALP are present in cells of bone and liver. Usually, raised levels of ALP are caused due to liver disease or bone disorders.


ALP is found in the liver on the cell edges that join to form bile ducts. The bile ducts are the tiny tubes which drain bile from the liver to the bowels. The bile juice formed is required by the small intestine to help digest fat in the diet.

ALP is produced by osteoblasts cells in the bone which are involved in bone formation. The various tissue types produce distinct forms of ALP which are known as isoenzymes.


The levels of ALP generally increase to a great extent if one or more bile ducts get blocked. The reason could be inflammation of the gallbladder which is known as cholecystitis or presence of gallstones. Small amount of increase of ALP in blood can be seen in liver cancer and cirrhosis. These high levels can also be observed if there is intake of medications toxic to the liver and hepatitis.


In conditions, where there is formation of excessive bones such as Paget’s disease one can also have increased levels of ALP. Along with that, higher blood ALP levels can be seen in children and adolescents, as they are in the growing stage and so are their bones.


Interpreting Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum results


Interpretations

Alkaline phosphatase, serum:  74 - 390 U/L.


Reference range may vary from lab to lab*

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum


Frequently Asked Questions about Alkaline Phosphatase, Serum

Q. How is the blood sample taken?
The healthcare provider takes a blood sample from the arm. The site from where the blood is to be withdrawn is cleaned with a swab of rubbing alcohol. This is then followed by inserting a small needle which has a tube attached to it for collecting blood. Once the sufficient blood for analysis is withdrawn, the needle is removed. The site is then covered with a gauze pad.
Q. Is there any risk associated with the withdrawal of blood sample procedure?
As such there is no risk but in few cases, bruising, bleeding, and infection at the puncture site can be seen. In very few cases, there can be swelling of the vein after the blood is withdrawn.
Q. Is there any preparation required before the alkaline phosphatase, serum test?
Yes, fasting is preferred for the alkaline phosphatase, serum test as eating a meal can slightly raise the alkaline phosphatase levels for a few hours.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms of liver disorder?
The signs and symptoms of liver disorder include weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal swelling, pain, jaundice, dark urine, light-coloured stools, and itching.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms suggestive of bone disorder?
The signs and symptoms suggesting a bone disorder include bone and joint pain, increased frequency of fractures, and deformed bones.
Q. What additional tests are advised along with alkaline phosphatase test?
Other tests advised along with alkaline phosphatase include alanine aminotransferase test, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and prothrombin time.
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