Serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels reflect the liver health
Liver function tests are an important part of health management. The liver produces a variety of enzymes whose levels are used to diagnose liver diseases.
What is GGT?
GGT stands for Gamma glutamyl transferase or gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. It is an important enzyme produced by the liver. This hormone flows to various organs of the body, including the liver and bloodstream. The exact functions of this hormone are still under investigation, but it is known to influence the metabolism of proteins and various other hormones.
The GGT blood test is a sensitive liver enzyme test that measures its levels in the serum.
Why go for GGT testing?
The levels of GGT are very a part of the liver health program. The GGT test is done for;
- The diagnosis of blockage in the bile duct
- The diagnosis of liver disease
- Monitor the alcohol abuse
- To understand whether the high level of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is due to bone disease or liver disease.
What's the level of GGT in serum?
The lab technician will collect your blood in a sterile syringe and isolate serum from it. The serum is the liquid obtained after removing the blood cells from the blood. The commercial kits are available, which will allow the measurement of its levels and the laboratory will upload the results of lab tests online. The normal GGT test result depends upon gender and physical health.
The values are given in international units per litre (IU/L). In healthy adults, the serum levels of GGT are
- Males: 8-61 IU/L
- Females: 5-36 IU/L
The elevated GGT levels mean something is going wrong in the liver, and it's not working as it should be. Higher levels of GGT reflect liver damage.
For more information and our comprehensive guide to blood tests, click here.
What does a high level of GGT mean?
A high level will give you a hint that the liver is not normal. But, it will not give you a final decision on the exact cause and different disease risk factors. Different liver problems could be responsible, e.g.,
- Liver cancer
- Liver cirrhosis due to alcoholic liver disease.
- Viral hepatitis
- Obstructive diseases, e.g., damage to or obstruction of bile ducts.
However, the levels will also be increased if you have;
- Metabolic diseases, e.g., diabetes
- Congestive heart failure
- Inflammations, e.g., pancreatitis, etc.
- Bone diseases
Although the test is done for liver function assessment, it is not the alone parameter. The doctor will need other liver function tests to assess the liver health, e.g., alkaline phosphatase (ALP), etc.
Normally, the GGT should be higher in the liver cells, and blood levels should be very low. If you note higher levels in the blood, there is some damage to the liver cells, and the GGT is leaking into the blood. So, higher test results would mean there is a need for further tests.
The GGT is one of the important liver enzymes, and its levels are important indications of damage to the liver or bile ducts. It is one of the important blood tests recommended by hepatologists.
Welzo offers a large range of at-home blood tests. To order a private Liver Function Blood Test, click here.
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