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Purpose of the test:
Distinguishes between disease of liver and disease of bones when source of elevated alkaline-phosphatase levels is uncertain
Helps differentiate between obstruction of bile ducts and acute liver-cell damage
Detects some forms of hepatitis when jaundice is not a symptom

Patient preparation:
Don't eat any food or drink any liquid for at least 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:
Adults--2 to 7u/liter
Children's values may be lower than adult values

What "high" or "increased" may indicate:
Common bile-duct obstruction
Acute liver-cell damage
Active cirrhosis

Taking these drugs may affect test results:

Other factors that may affect test results:
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 to be collected to ensure accuracy.

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