The liver function test is done to rule out the overall health condition of the liver. According to the American Liver Foundation, liver diseases and liver failure are life-threatening if left untreated and undiagnosed at the right time. So we highly recommend everyone to get tested for liver function test at least once every two years.
The article below covers all the significant topics of liver function tests like LFT test price, tests included in the liver panel, normal range, risk factors, procedure, preparation, and how to get tested for liver diseases.
- Liver function test cost.
- What is a liver function test or LFT?
- Why is a liver function test done?
- Importance of liver function test.
- Who is recommended for a liver function test?
- Tests included in the liver test panel.
- The normal range of liver panel
- How is the liver function test performed?
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- What does the liver function test cost mean?
- Do you need follow-up tests to asses your liver health?
- Provider Locations.
For our readers, who would like to know more about the liver function test cost beforehand, we begin with that section.
How much does the liver function test cost?
Liver function test cost or LFT test costs $49 in the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the liver function test cost at 2 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
Liver function test cost with insurance
Many health insurance policies in the U.S. cover liver function test cost. Also, the liver function test is mostly done as a part of the annual preventative medical tests which is covered by all insurance companies. But some insurance companies cover the cost only when the test is done in the hospital or lab which is in your insurance plan’s network. So we recommend you to check with your insurance company before getting tested.
Our liver function testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and the CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is a liver function test?
The LFT or liver function test is a panel of tests that are done to determine the functioning of the liver. This test diagnoses liver diseases by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes, and bilirubin in your blood. If you have been diagnosed with the liver disease earlier, this test will be performed at regular intervals to monitor the condition of your liver and to evaluate the effectiveness of the undergoing treatment.
The liver function test is also generally known as the Hepatic panel test.
Why is a liver function test done?
The liver function test is often recommended to diagnose liver infections and liver diseases. Liver dysfunction or failure occurs over a while and it is very difficult to diagnose earlier as the symptoms do not show up or may be mild. But there is also an exception called acute liver failure when the deterioration of the liver happens rapidly. So we highly recommend everyone above the age of 30 to get a liver function test done as a part of the annual preventive health check-up.
Why is the liver function test important?
The liver is considered as the workhorse of our body performing various important functions including the conversion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, being a storehouse of some vitamins, and metabolism of certain hormones and enzymes. Some of the other important functions of the liver include
- It gives energy to the body by converting some amino acids and carbohydrates into glucose
- Works on the proteins to make them usable for the body
- Helps in the breakup of waste materials which are then passed out of the body through urine
- Processes alcohols and various medicines including antibiotics
- Processes certain hormones including the thyroid hormones and estrogen
- Contributes to the production of Vitamin D in the body
- Helps in the formation of cellular components of blood
Who is recommended for a liver function test?
People who experience the following symptoms or have a lifestyle as mentioned below should consider getting a liver profile test done at regular intervals.
- Yellow skin or eyes
- Pain in the abdomen
- Weight loss
- Family history of liver disease
- Too much eating of junk food
- People taking regular medications for diseases like Parkinson’s
What are the tests included in the liver panel?
The tests included in the liver panel or hepatic panel are given below
1. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
AST is also called SGOT (serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase). This test checks for any kind of liver damage. Generally, the levels of AST are lower than normal whereas the levels rise when the liver is damaged.
2. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is also referred to as SGPT (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase). This enzyme is present in both the liver and kidney. Normally, the ALT levels are low but it increases with damage in the liver. This test is done to monitor or identify liver disease.
3. Alkaline phosphatase serum (ALP)
ALP measures the level of alkaline phosphatase enzyme in the bloodstream. Abnormal levels of ALP indicate problems in the liver or gall bladder.
4. Bilirubin Direct
Bilirubin is an orange-yellow pigment that occurs when part of the red blood cells break down. This test measures the amount of bilirubin in the blood and helps in finding the reasons behind anemia, jaundice, and other liver diseases.
5. Bilirubin total
Bilirubin total also measures the amount of bilirubin in the blood and helps in finding out the proper functioning of the liver.
6. Total protein
The total protein test measures the amount of total protein in the bloodstream.
7. Albumin serum
Albumin serum is one of the major types of protein made by the liver. This test measures the amount of albumin in the blood. This protein helps in keeping the blood from leaking out from the blood vessels. Low albumin levels indicate a disorder in the liver or kidneys.
The normal range of liver panel
The normal range of all the tests included in the liver function test is given below. This range may be slightly different between men, women, and children.
How is the liver function test performed?
A liver function test is a general blood test. During this test, a lab technician or phlebotomist will cleanse your skin with an antiseptic and wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to make the veins visible and swell with blood. Then, he/she will draw a blood sample using a needle and cleans the injected area with a cotton ball to stop bleeding. The blood sample is collected in a test tube and then sent to the lab for analysis.
It takes less than 10 minutes to do this test.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
The liver function test doesn’t require any special preparation. No fasting is required and you can carry on with your regular activities.
Are there any risks in the liver function test?
There are no possible risks or complications as the liver function test is a simple blood test. Sometimes you may feel dizziness, bruise, or redness in the injected area. But these symptoms will go away quickly. If you experience abnormal bleeding in the injected area, inform your physician immediately.
What does the liver function test result mean?
Liver function test results indicate that there is a problem in the functioning of the liver. So when the results are abnormal, your physician may prescribe you some medications. In the case of alcoholics, you will be asked to stop drinking.
Liver function test high
Elevated liver enzymes during LFT blood testing depicts some liver disease or liver problem. But in general, the normal liver enzyme levels seem to be high slightly or/for a temporary period. In the case of ongoing treatment for liver disease or any suspected liver problem
The elevated liver function test levels can be most commonly found are:
- ALT – Alanine transaminase
- AST – Aspartate transaminase
- ALP- Alkaline phosphatase
High liver function test results often indicate damage/injuries in the liver cells, leaking higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals into the blood, thus showing elevated liver enzymes on your liver blood tests.
Do you need follow-up tests to asses your liver health?
In general, your physician will order an LFT test first to check the metrics relating to your liver health. However, liver function tests do not give an in-depth view of how significant the damage is. Thus your physician will order follow-up liver blood tests and recommend an ultrasound or a Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) scan to know the exact stage of the liver infection.
The liver function test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the liver function test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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