Understanding Lab Values

Albumin
(normal range 3.2-5.5 g/dl)
A blood protein manufactured in the liver.

Alkaline Phosphatase
(normal range 30-115 u/l)
An enzyme present primarily in the liver, bone, and biliary tract. In children and adolescents, an elevated level usually reflects active bone growth. In adults, however, elevated levels may indicate liver, biliary tract, or bone problems.

Bilirubin
(normal range 0.4-1.5 mg/dl)
A bile pigment in the blood. It is a breakdown product of hemoglobin. An increase may reflect the breakdown of the red blood cells or liver disease.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
(normal range 10-20 mg/dl)
A blood test that reflects the kidney's ability to handle nitrogen, a breakdown product of protein. An increased BUN may be due to various kidney disorders. At times, an elevated BUN is due to steroids and cyclosporine.

Calcium
(normal range 8.5-10.5 mg/dl)
A mineral that comes from the bone. A constant blood calcium level is necessary for good bone strength, a strong heartbeat, and normal function of the nerves and muscles.

Creatinine
(normal range 0.7-1.5 mg/dl)
A waste product that is found in muscle and blood and is removed by the kidneys. An elevated creatinine level may reflect a variety of situations. In all transplant recipients, an elevation may reflect cyclosporine toxicity. In kidney transplant recipients, an elevated creatinine level may indicate rejection.

GGT
(normal range 8-78 u/l)
An enzyme present in the liver and gallbladder which is affected by factors that cause inflammation or obstruction in the organs.

Glucose
(normal range 70-125 mg/dl)
A value that reflects the content of sugar in the blood. Increased glucose is often seen in individuals on steroids and is usually temporary. Some patients, however, may become diabetic and require insulin treatment to control their glucose.

LDH
(normal range 60-225 u/l)
An enzyme distributed in many tissues including the liver, heart, lung, kidney, and red blood cells. Many factors can cause an elevation of LDH; therefore, interpretation of an abnormal level usually requires examination of other test results

Potassium
(normal range 3.5-5.0 mEq/l)
A body salt primarily found on the inside of body cells. Diuretics or "water pills" can lower this value. Cyclosporine and FK506 can increase the potassium level.

Prothrombin Time (PT)
(normal range 11-13 seconds)
A coagulation test that reflects the activity of clotting proteins produced in the liver. It is a good indicator of adequate liver function. Prolongation of the PT can indicate significant liver damage.

SGPT (ALT)
(normal range 5-40u/l)
Enzymes primarily found in the liver. An increase in these enzymes may reflect damage to the liver, such as in cirrhosis, hepatitis, viral infections, or rejection.

Total Cholesterol
(normal below 200 mg/dl)

Triglycerides
(normal below 250 mg/dl)
Major lipid components found in the blood. If either of these is elevated, patients are instructed to follow a low cholesterol, low fat diet.

Total Protein
(normal range 6.0-8.5 g/dl)
Reflects the combination of blood proteins. Abnormalities are seen in individuals with poor nutrition and liver disease.

Uric Acid
(normal range 3.4-7.5 mg/dl)
A breakdown product of purines which are present in all cells. High levels of uric acid are associated with gout.

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