Alkaline phosphatase measurement is used to diagnose and monitor the treatment of many diseases of the liver, bone, gastrointestinal system, and parathyroid glands.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found in the liver, bones, placenta, intestine, and kidneys, but mainly in biliary epithelial cells as well as in the osteoblasts involved in the formation of new bone. Alkaline phosphatase is normally secreted by the liver into the bile.
Elevated alkaline phosphatase levels are most commonly found during periods of bone development (such as in children), in various types of liver disease, and in biliary obstruction.
Alkaline phosphatase is also considered an indicator of neoplastic activity because it is elevated in the case of osteosarcoma as well as in breast or prostate cancer with bone metastases.
What Do Pathological Values Mean?
- Increase: Biliary obstruction, bone metastases, calcium deficiency, pancreatic cancer, cirrhosis, eclampsia, treatment of fractures, hepatitis, high fat diet, hyperparathyroidism, infectious mononucleosis, leukemia, liver cancer, osteosarcoma, osteomalacia, Paget's disease, pancreatitis, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, rickets, vitamin D deficiency. Medications: ACE inhibitors, paracetamol, antiepileptic, antibiotics, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, estrogens, iron sulfate, heparin, interferons, hypolipidemic agents, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, salicylates, thiazides, voriconazole.
- Decrease: Celiac disease, chronic nephritis, cystic fibrosis, excessive intake of vitamin D, hypophosphatemia, hypothyroidism, malnutrition, milk-alkali syndrome, pernicious anemia, scurvy, placental insufficiency. Medications: arsenic, cyanide, fluorine, nitrofurantoin, oxalates, phosphates, propranolol, zinc salts
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.