Liver Enzymes:


What is liver enzyme?

A liver enzyme is a protein that helps to speed up a chemical reaction in the liver and the liver function tests are blood tests that are used to evaluate various functions of the liver for example, metabolism, storage, filtration and excretion, which are often performed by liver enzymes. But not all liver function tests are measures of enzyme function.

Description of liver enzymes and its types:

The liver is an important internal organ because it performs many functions and also it helps to detoxify the many toxins in the body, makes proteins that are used to help clot the blood and other proteins that help draw fluid into our blood vessels for e.g., albumin. Liver function tests are blood tests that include alkaline phosphatase, prothrombin time, serum bilirubin, serum albumin and the most commonly used indicators of liver damage are the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). These are nothing but enzymes normally found in liver cells that leak out of these cells and make their way to the blood when liver cells are injured.

The ALT is felt to be a more specific indicator of liver inflammation, as AST is also found in other organs, such as the heart and skeletal muscle and in acute injury to the liver, as in viral hepatitis, the level of the ALT and AST may be used as a general measure of the degree of liver inflammation or damage. In chronic liver disease, these enzymes may be entirely within the normal range and increased levels of ALT and AST can have a large number of clinical implications.

While elevated levels might involve hepatocellular disease, active cirrhosis, metastatic liver tumor, infection or toxic hepatitis, severe burns, pancreatitis, heart attack, trauma, severe burns, acute hemolytic anemia, crushing injuries, gangrene or shock. The elevation of this enzyme may be found in a large number of disorders as common as gallstone disease, alcohol abuse and drug-induced hepatitis, or in less common disorders, such as primary biliary cirrhosis or biliary tumors. However this enzyme is found both in the liver and the bile, it leaks into the bloodstream in a manner similar to that of the ALT and AST.

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