What is ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase)?

What is ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase)?

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. ALP helps break down proteins in the body and exists in different forms, depending on where it originates. It is mostly produced in your liver, but some is also made in your bones, intestines, and kidneys. In pregnant women, ALP is made in the placenta.

A blood test can be done to measure the level of ALP.

What is the meaning of the Aspartate-aminotransferase (AST) blood test?

Checking ALP levels in the blood is a routine part of a liver function and gall bladder tests. Symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea may lead your doctor to suspect there is something wrong with your liver or gallbladder.

What are normal and optimal AST Level?

The normal range is 44 to 147 IU/L (international units per liter).

Normal values may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory. They also can vary with age and gender. High levels of ALP are normally seen in children undergoing growth spurts and in pregnant women.

The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

What do abnormal AST Levels mean?

Abnormal levels of ALP in your blood most often indicate a problem with your liver, gall bladder, or bones. However, they may also indicate malnutrition, kidney tumors, or a serious infection.

Abnormal results may be due to the following conditions:

Higher-than-normal ALP levels

  • Biliary obstruction
  • Bone conditions
  • Osteoblastic bone tumors, osteomalacia, a fracture that is healing
  • Liver disease or hepatitis
  • Eating a fatty meal if you have blood type O or B
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Paget disease
  • Rickets
  • Sarcoidosis

Lower-than-normal ALP levels

  • Hypophosphatasia
  • Malnutrition
  • Protein deficiency
  • Wilson disease

Other conditions for which the test may be done:

  • Alcoholic liver disease (hepatitis/cirrhosis)
  • Alcoholism
  • Biliary stricture
  • Gallstones
  • Giant cell (temporal, cranial) arteritis
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) II
  • Pancreatitis
  • Renal cell carcinoma
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