ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE

Purpose of test:
Detects and identifies skeletal disease, especially diseases characterized by rapidly growing bone.
Detects liver diseases causing obstructions, such as a tumor or abscess.
Assesses response to vitamin D in treating rickets caused by vitamin-D deficiency.

Patient preparation:
Don't eat any food or drink any liquid for at leave 12 hours before the test.

Time before test results available:
Test requires only a few minutes in the laboratory. Time before results are reported to the doctor or patient varies from a few minutes to a few days.

Normal values:
(Alkaline phosphatase levels measured by chemical inhibition range from): Men--90 to 239u/liter
Women (under age 45)--76 to 196u/liter
Women (over age 45)--87 to 250u/liter
Children normally have levels up to 3 times higher than adults

What "high" or "increased" may indicate:
Acute or complete biliary obstruction
Deficiency-induced rickets
Osteomalacia
Extensive bone metastases
Hyperparathyroidsm
Paget's disease

What "low" or "decreased" may indicate:
Hypophosphatasia
Protein deficiency
Magnesium deficiency

Taking these drugs may affect test results:
Albumin
Barbiturates
Chlorpropamide
Halothane
Isoniazid
Methyldopa
Oral contraceptives
Phenothiazines
Phenytoin
Rifampin

Other factors that may affect test results:
Healing long-bone fractures
Age (infants, children, adolescents, women over 45)
Failure to fast overnight
If tourniquet is applied on the arm too long (over 1 minute), it may cause an inaccurate test result. Request another sample be collected to ensure accuracy.

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