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Using a sample of your blood, we run a number of tests (liver panel) to learn more about the general health of your liver.
If your results are abnormal, we may perform more specialized tests:
Bilirubin test: Bilirubin is the waste product of broken down red blood cells. Having too much bilirubin exposes your liver to toxins that eventually cause damage.
Albumin test: Albumin, a blood protein made by your liver, helps your blood carry out many vital functions. Low levels of albumin are a sign of liver disease.
Prothrombin time test: A measure of how quickly your blood clots. Slow clotting is a sign that your liver is not healthy.
Liver enzyme tests
Liver enzyme tests tell us about possible causes for inflammation and liver damage. Liver enzymes are special proteins in the cells of your liver that help you break down food and remove toxins. Having high levels of enzymes, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), in your blood is a sign that your liver is in trouble.
Antibodies are proteins in your blood that help fight certain diseases, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Because your immune system produces a unique set of antibodies in response to the presence of each disease, testing positive for hepatitis B or C antibodies helps confirm your diagnosis.
Computed tomography (CT) Scan
With the help of a special dye, a CT scan uses X-rays and sophisticated computer technology to produce image slices (cross-sectional views) of your liver. In addition to minimizing exposure to radiation, CT scans show important details about organ structures, such as the health of blood vessels within your liver.
We offer alternative testing, such as special ultrasounds, if you have chronic liver disease and cannot tolerate the dye we use in CT scans.
High-frequency sound waves and a computer create detailed images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs.
Examine the structure of your liver and identify possible damage (cirrhosis)
Rule out problems with other abdominal organs, such as your pancreas
Look for signs of cancer, such as masses
We offer doppler ultrasound, which uses a special dye, for people who have advanced liver disease and cannot have a CT scan. Doppler is a special type of ultrasound that shows blood flow through your liver.
This magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test uses a magnetic field and radio waves to help us measure precise levels of liver damage. Also known as Feraheme® MRI or FibroScan®, this advanced technology eliminates the need for a liver biopsy and is only available in prestigious programs, such as Stanford.