Diagnostics

ALT liver function test

The London Clinic through its Liver Centre provides access to the latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of liver disease and performs private ALT Liver function tests.

 

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What is it for?

To help treat damaged liver cells

Overview

What is an ALT liver function test?

An ALT liver function test measures the level of alanine transaminase (ALT) in your blood. 

ALT is a type of protein (enzyme) that’s released into your bloodstream when liver cells are damaged.

High levels of ALT in the blood can suggest you have a liver problem, even before you show any signs of liver disease.

Your ALT liver function test requires you to only give a tiny blood sample. And the results of your test are usually available to your consultant within hours.

At The London Clinic, your ALT blood test will take place in our state-of-the-art Liver Centre.

You’ll also come under the care of world-class liver specialists and an expert multidisciplinary team who are vastly experienced in this type of procedure.

As one of our patients, you’ll also receive exceptional personalised care and support that puts your wellbeing and recovery at the heart of your experience with us.

Contact us today to find out more about our ALT blood test service and start your five-star journey with The London Clinic.

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Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

 

Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
     

FAQs

You may want to have an ALT liver function test if you drink alcohol quite often, eat a lot of high fat foods, smoke, or have had liver problems in the past.

An ALT blood test is a simple procedure that can quickly tell you if your liver is healthy, or if there are potential problems that may need investigating further.

For some people, having their liver health checked with a simple ALT test can prevent health problems developing and even save their life.

An ALT test requires you to give a blood sample. This is obtained using a needle that’s inserted into a vein in your arm. We can numb your skin beforehand so you don’t feel pain.

It usually takes less than five minutes to collect a blood sample.

Your sample is then tested in our diagnostic laboratory to identify the level of ALT in your blood.

Information about your ALT level is sent back to your consultant hepatologist, usually the same day.

They will then get in touch with you to discuss your result and discuss any next steps.

The main reasons why your levels of ALT may rise include: 

Fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease is when fat gets stored in your liver cells. This can happen due to eating a high fat diet, drinking a lot of alcohol, eating too much or not getting enough exercise.

If you are overweight, have type 2 diabetes or a raised cholesterol level, you may be at risk of having fat within your liver. 

Drinking too much alcohol

Men who regularly drink more than 21 units of alcohol per week, and women who drink more than 14 units per week, are more likely to have high levels of ALT.

People who regularly drink a lot of alcohol over a short space of time (binge drink) are also at risk of high levels of ALT and damaging their liver cells.

Taking certain medicines

Using more than the recommended amount of certain medicines each day, such as paracetamol, may lead to liver damage.

If you are in pain and paracetamol isn’t helping, speak to your doctor for advice on a stronger painkiller that you can use.

Whenever you start taking a new medicine, check that you take it as your doctor or nurse advises.  

While taking any medicine, look for signs that may mean your liver is being affected, such as yellow skin or yellow eye whites (jaundice).

There are certain conditions that can cause high levels of ALT, including:

Infection by chronic hepatitis viruses

Viral infections such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C can lead to a rise in ALT levels. 

You can get a vaccine against hepatitis B to protect your liver, but not for hepatitis C.

Haemochromatosis

High levels of ALT could be a sign of the genetic liver disease haemochromatosis. 

Haemochromatosis involves iron levels slowly building up in your body over many years.

Autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis is when your body begins to attack its own liver cells. High levels of ALT can be a sign of this condition.

You can have an ALT liver function test once a year to help monitor any changes in your liver health.

This is particularly recommended for people at high risk of liver disease because of infection, an underlying condition or lifestyle factors.

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