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What is an alkaline phosphatase test?

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Alkaline phosphatase is one kind of enzyme found in your body. Enzymes are proteins that help chemical reactions happen. For instance, they can break big molecules down into smaller parts, or they can help smaller molecules join together to form bigger structures. You have alkaline phosphatase throughout your body, including your liver, digestive system, kidneys, and bones. If you show signs of liver disease or a bone disorder, your doctor may order an alkaline phosphatase test to measure the amount of the enzyme in your blood and help in diagnosing the problem. Sometimes it’s part of a broader group of tests called a routine liver or hepatic panel, which checks how your liver is working.

SOURCES:

University of Rochester Medical Center Health Encyclopedia: “Alkaline Phosphatase.”

The Science Museum (U.K.): “Your Body -- What Do Your Cells Do?”

National Institutes of Health, Genetics Home Reference: “ALPL gene.”

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: “Lab Tests Online -- ALP.”

Kids Health by Nemours Foundation: “Blood Test -- Hepatic (Liver) Function Panel.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 15, 2019

SOURCES:

University of Rochester Medical Center Health Encyclopedia: “Alkaline Phosphatase.”

The Science Museum (U.K.): “Your Body -- What Do Your Cells Do?”

National Institutes of Health, Genetics Home Reference: “ALPL gene.”

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: “Lab Tests Online -- ALP.”

Kids Health by Nemours Foundation: “Blood Test -- Hepatic (Liver) Function Panel.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 15, 2019

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Why would you get an alkaline phosphatase test?

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