Labs: What Does It All Mean?

Below is common terminology within biliary atresia

Complete Blood Count (CBC):​

  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen

  • White blood cells, which fight infection

  • Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells

  • Hematocrit, the proportion of red blood cells to the fluid component, or plasma, in your blood

  • Platelets, which help with blood clotting

Hepatic Function Panel:

Serum albumin test: This test is used to measure the level of albumin (a protein in the blood) and may be useful in the diagnosis of liver disease. Low levels of albumin may indicate the liver is not functioning properly. 

Alanine transaminase (ALT) test: This test measures the level of alanine aminotransferase. This is an enzyme found mostly in the liver that is released into the bloodstream after acute liver cell damage. This test may be performed to assess liver function, and/or to evaluate treatment of acute liver disease, such as hepatitis.

Aspartate transaminase (AST) test: This test measures the level of aspartate transaminase. This is an enzyme that is found in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, skeletal muscle, and red blood cells that is released into the bloodstream after liver or heart problems. This enzyme is released into the bloodstream after acute liver cell damage.

Indirect bilirubin test: This is the bilirubin created from red blood cell breakdown. It travels in the blood to the liver.

Direct bilirubin test: This is the bilirubin once it reaches the liver and undergoes a chemical change. It moves to the intestines before being removed through your stool.

Alkaline phosphatase tes:. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. Tissues with higher amounts of ALP include the liver, bile ducts, and bone.

Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase test: This test measures the level of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. This is an enzyme that is made in the liver, pancreas, and biliary tract. This test is often performed to assess liver function, to provide information about liver diseases, and to detect alcohol ingestion.

Coagulation Panel:

International normalized ratio (INR), formally called prothrombin time (PT) test: This test measures how long it takes for blood to clot. Blood clotting needs vitamin K and a protein that is made by the liver. Prolonged clotting may indicate liver disease or other deficiencies in specific clotting factors.​

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