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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Test showed ALT= 243, ferritan = 623, GGT = 177 and cholesterol = 5.88. What does these value mean?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1986
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I had a battery of tests run and the doctor I was seeing did not give me a good explanation of the results. I believe there was a language gap. Here are the items I'm concerned about: Alanine Transaminase = 243. Ferritan = 623. Gamma Glutamyl Transferase = 177. Cholesterol = 5.88.
What are the severity of these readings? Doc I was using could not answer my questions.....
Fri, 14 Dec 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Stephen Christensen 2 hours later
Hello. I'm Dr. Christensen.
You do have some worrisome lab results . As you probably know, ALT (alanine transaminase) and GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) are enzymes that are normally found within the cells of your liver. Liver inflammation or injury will release these enzymes into your bloodstream, where they can be detected with tests such as those you've had run. Ferritin is a an iron-storing protein produced by your liver. Most of the cholesterol in your circulation is produced by your liver as well. Therefore, liver disease not only releases cellular enzymes into your bloodstream; it often triggers elevated ferritin and cholesterol levels, too.
It isn't possible to diagnose the specific condition that's causing these anomalies without further evaluation. However, the elevated GGT is indicative of injury to the liver's bile ducts: primary biliary cirrhosis, alcoholism, congestive heart failure, liver tumors and liver damage due to medications are among the possible causes.
Additional workup might include an abdominal ultrasound and/or CT, more blood tests to look for markers of specific diseases (e.g., antimitochondrial antibodies to rule out primary biliary cirrhosis) and possibly even liver biopsy.
If you can't communicate well with the physician who ordered your tests, I suggest you consult with another doctor. Further investigation is warranted here.
I hope that fills in some of the gaps, and I hope things go well for you!
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