What are the other names for this test?
Gamma-glutamyl Transferase, GGTP, Gamma-GT, GTP, Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase
What is a GGT test?
A gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test
helps determine the GGT levels in your blood. GGT is an enzyme often present in the liver and throughout the body. GGT may come into your bloodstream if your liver is damaged. The GGT test tells whether you have a possible liver or bile duct disease. Bile ducts are tubes that flow bile into and out of the liver. Your liver develops bile, a fluid that is necessary for digestion. High GGT levels may indicate conditions of liver disease or problems in the bile ducts.
What is the purpose of this test?
A GGT test may use to diagnose liver conditions or to eliminate medical problems that come from abnormal liver enzyme tests. It often performs with or along other liver function tests, specifically an alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test. This test may also help to see the reason for elevated ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a form of enzyme used to observe bone diseases with liver disease. If your GGT levels in the blood are in the recommended range but have high ALP levels, you may have a bone disease.
A gamma-glutamyl transferase test
may also screen for chronic alcohol disorder and observe alcohol use if you are taking treatment for alcoholism or alcohol hepatitis. A GGT test does not help to identify any particular cause of liver disease
When do I need to take a GGT test?
The GGT levels are present in low amounts in the blood in the case of a healthy liver. If your liver is damaged, the GGT levels may increase, which indicates severe liver or bile duct disease. GGT is often the leading enzyme that enters your blood when your bile ducts become damaged from tumors or stones. Your healthcare provider may recommend this test if you have conditions that may lead to high GGT levels, such as symptoms of liver disease. These symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jaundice- A condition that turns the skin and eye color yellow.
- Dark urine
- Light-colored stool
Your provider may also recommend the gamma-glutamyl transferase test if you have abnormal liver function tests with the ALP test. Check your GGT levels here
to see your liver conditions.
What is the procedure for this test?
A GGT Test is a blood test that requires a blood sample that includes the following steps:
How do I get ready for this test?
- Sit in front of your provider. Be relaxed and stay in a fixed position. It is difficult for your provider to collect a blood sample if you do the muscle movement.
- Remove the portion of your cloth from the arm.
- A small needle will inject into a vein in your arm.
- A small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
- Blood samples will store in the laboratory for examination of an allergy.
- You can go home for regular activities.
- This test takes at least five minutes.
You may inform your provider about medicines, vitamins, and supplements you use. You do not need special preparation for the GGT test. Do not avoid any medication before consulting with a doctor. You may need to fast for several hours if your provider asks for additional blood tests.
Are there any risks involved in this test?
A gamma-glutamyl transferase test does not have high risks when you give a blood sample. Veins differ from person to person. Some people may have difficulty providing a blood sample compared to others.
Factors that link when the needle injects into a vein in your arm are:
What do the test results indicate?
- Extreme Bleeding
- Slight Infection
- Hematoma (Deposition of blood under the skin)
The recommended range for a gamma-glutamyl transferase test for males is between 7 to 47 units per liter (U/L). For females, the value lies between 5 to 25 U/L. A newly born baby has higher GGT levels compared to adults and children.
Book an online appointment with a healthcare professional
to discuss your GGT test
results depend on many factors, such as age, gender, and medical history. The test results may also slightly differ among laboratories. It is because each lab may use different methods for examination.
High GGT levels
than recommended may mean a sign of liver damage due to
- Hepatitis (Inflammation of the liver)
- Cirrhosis (Late-stage of liver damage)
- Heart failure
- Pancreatic cancer (Cancer that happens when cells in your pancreas produce changes in their DNA)
- Chronic alcohol disorder
- Viral infections like Epstein-Barr
- Drug's side effects. Specific medicines can damage the liver in a few people.
The GGT test
does not specify the specific cause or help to differentiate different reasons for liver damage. Higher GGT levels mean more damage to your liver.
Low or recommended GGT levels do not indicate any liver disease.
Your test results may compare with the ALP test to detect bone disease. The combination of both test results may indicate any of the following scenarios
What factors may affect the GGT test results?
- High ALP and GGT levels may show liver disorder. You do not have a bone disease.
- High ALP levels but low GGT levels mean you may experience bone disease.
Some medications may affect your test results. These include phenobarbital, phenytoin, clofibrate, birth control pills, and others.
What additional tests do I need along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may recommend the following liver enzyme tests along with the gamma-glutamyl transferase test:
- Alanine aminotransferase
- Aspartate aminotransferase
- Creatine phosphokinase
- Alkaline phosphatase
- Leucine aminopeptidase
- Lactic dehydrogenase
For more information about laboratory tests and e-consultation, visit Umbrella Health Care Systems