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Alkaline phosphatase: examination investigates diseases of the liver and bones

Alkaline phosphatase: examination investigates diseases of the liver and bones

The alkaline phosphatase test can then identify diseases that affect the liver or bones. It is usually ordered along with other tests that evaluate liver function, such as TGO or GT range.


The alkaline phosphatase test may be requested when someone has a high GT range. It may also be ordered along with other tests when a person has signs or symptoms suggestive of liver or bone disease.

Some signs and symptoms of liver damage include:

Weakness, fatigue

Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling and / or abdominal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine
  • Clear or whitish stools
  • Itching (itching)
  • Signs and symptoms of bone changes include:
  • Pain in bones or joints

Common fractures

  • Bone deformities.
  • Contraindications
  • There are no express contraindications for an alkaline phosphatase test. However, the doctor or doctor can tell you whether you are fit to take the test or not.

Pregnant can do?

There are no contraindications for performing the alkaline phosphatase test during pregnancy. However, pregnancy can make enzyme levels higher since it is found in the placenta.

Examination Preparation

Several medications may alter test results. Write down all the medicines you take regularly and take it to the office, including food supplements. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any medication and for how long.

A fasting test is required, which varies with age. See:

From 0 to 1 year: minimum of three hours

From 1 to 5 years: minimum of six hours

  • Above 5 years: a minimum of eight hours
  • alkaline phosphatase examination can not be done if the patient has performed a liver biopsy in the last 5 days. Talk to your doctor about this possibility and the best date to schedule the test.
  • How it is done

In a hospital or laboratory, the alkaline phosphatase test is performed by a healthcare professional as follows:

With the patient seated, a rubber band is tied around his arm to stop the flow of blood. This causes the veins to become wider, helping the practitioner hit one of them.

The professional cleans the arm area to be penetrated by the needle.

  • The needle is inserted into the vein. This procedure can be done more than once until the health care provider hits the vein and is able to remove the blood.
  • Blood collected in the syringe and placed in a tube
  • The elastic is removed and a gauze is placed on the where the health professional inserted the needle, to prevent any bleeding. He or she can put pressure on the bandage to stagnate blood
  • A bandage is placed on the spot.
  • Blood test: know the blood path you take after collection
  • Examination time

The alkaline phosphatase test takes a few minutes to complete and may take longer in cases where the healthcare professional has difficulty hitting the vein and collecting blood.

Post-examination recommendations

There are no special recommendations following the examination. The patient can do his / her activities normally. Because of fasting, it is recommended to eat a meal as soon as the test is completed.

Frequency of the test

There is no periodicity for alkaline phosphatase dosing. It will depend on the doctor's advice and the presence or absence of problems that may be accompanied by the test, such as liver disease.


Risks involved in the alkaline phosphatase test are extremely rare. At most, there may be a hematoma at the site where blood was withdrawn. In some cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is collected (phlebitis), but this can be reversed by making a compress several times a day.

People who use anticoagulant medications or have coagulation problems may suffer from a bleeding after collection. In these cases, it is important to inform the health care professional of the problem in advance.


Exam results are usually available within one business day. The interpretation of the alkaline phosphatase test depends on the reason why it was required. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor for any questions.

Normal results

The reference values ​​shown here are just a guide, as they may change from laboratory to laboratory. In addition, the physician or physician will evaluate the results according to the patient and their characteristics, such as age and related diseases.

Alkaline phosphatase levels are measured in units of atomic mass (U) per liter of blood (L )

The test results vary greatly in children and infants. Reference values ​​for alkaline phosphatase up to 12 years of age are:

1 day of age: up to 250 U / L

2 to 5 days: up to 231 U / L

  • 6 days to 6 months: up to 449 U / L
  • 7 months to 1 year: up to 462 U / L
  • 2 to 3 years: up to 281 U / L
  • 4 to 6 years: up to 269 U / L
  • 7 to 12 years: up to 300 U / L.
  • For adolescents aged 13 to 17 years, alkaline phosphatase test results vary only by sex. See:
  • Male: up to 390 U / L

Female: up to 187 U / L

  • In adults over 17 years the results also vary only by sex:
  • Male: 40 to 129 U

Abnormal results

  • Alkaline phosphatase results above normal may indicate:
  • Biliary obstruction

Bone conditions

Bone tumors

  • Hepatic disease or hepatitis
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Paget's disease
  • Rickets
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Below normal levels of alkaline phosphatase may report:
  • Hypophosphatasia
  • The test can be combined with other dosages, such as the GT range, to diagnose conditions such as:

Alcoholic liver disease

  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholism
  • Biliary stenosis
  • Biliary calculus

Multiple endocrine neoplasia

  • Pancreatitis
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • What may affect the test result
  • Some if
  • Use of some medications, which may be listed by your doctor or physician
  • Menopause, which may increase levels of alkaline phosphatase
  • Alcohol abuse

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