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Science Lab

Lab Terminology

Understanding Lab Tests for Children with Biliary Atresia

Navigating the medical landscape can be overwhelming, especially when your child is diagnosed with biliary atresia. Here's a simplified guide to help you understand common lab tests and what they mean for your child's health.


Complete Blood Count (CBC):​​

  • Red Blood Cells: Carry oxygen to tissues.

  • White Blood Cells: Defend against infections.

  • Hemoglobin: The protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.

  • Hematocrit: Measures the ratio of red blood cells to plasma in the blood.

  • Platelets: Help in blood clotting.

Hepatic Function Panel:​​

  • Serum Albumin Test: Measures albumin levels to assess liver health. Low levels may indicate liver issues.

  • Alanine Transaminase (ALT) Test: Checks for liver damage by measuring ALT enzyme levels.

  • Aspartate Transaminase (AST) Test: Similar to ALT, measures AST enzyme levels to evaluate liver and heart health.

  • Indirect Bilirubin Test: Measures bilirubin from red blood cell breakdown, which travels to the liver.

  • Direct Bilirubin Test: Measures bilirubin after it's processed by the liver and before it's eliminated through stool.

  • Alkaline Phosphatase Test: Checks levels of ALP, a protein found mainly in the liver, bile ducts, and bones.

  • Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase Test: Assesses liver function by measuring this enzyme, also an indicator of alcohol ingestion.

Coagulation Panel:​

  • International Normalized Ratio (INR): Measures blood clotting time. Prolonged clotting may indicate liver issues or clotting factor deficiencies.​​​

We hope this guide makes it easier for you to understand your child's lab tests. For more in-depth information, consult your healthcare provider.


Sources: Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai NY

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