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GGT Levels
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GGT Levels

My GGT has been 381 for some months now.  Can the fact that I have hemangiomas cause this high reading?
First, any one blood test in isolation do not provide enough information to form any conclusions. A number of tests must be performed to have any meaning.

The normal range of GGT is 0 to 51 international units per liter (IU/L).
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

'GGT can be used to screen for chronic alcohol abuse (it will be elevated in about 75% of chronic drinkers). Sometimes it may be used to monitor for alcohol use and/or abuse in people who are receiving treatment for alcoholism or alcoholic hepatitis.

Even small amounts of alcohol within 24 hours of your GGT test may cause a temporary increase in the GGT. If this occurs, your doctor may want to repeat the test.

Drugs that may cause an elevated GGT level include phenytoin, carbamazepine, and barbiturates such as phenobarbital. Use of many other prescription and non-prescription drugs, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), lipid-lowering drugs, antibiotics, histamine receptor blockers (used to treat excess stomach acid production), antifungal agents, antidepressants, and hormones such as testosterone, can increase GGT levels. Smoking can also increase GGT.

Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels may be used to determine the cause of an elevated alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Both ALP and GGT are elevated in disease of the bile ducts and in some liver diseases, but only ALP will be elevated in bone disease.

The GGT test is sometimes used to help detect liver disease and bile duct obstructions. It is usually ordered in conjunction with or as follow up to other liver tests such as ALT, AST, ALP, and bilirubin. Increased levels of GGT levels may indicate in general that the liver is being damaged but does not specifically point to a condition that may be causing the injury. While elevated GGT levels may be caused by liver disease, they may also be caused by alcohol consumption and/or other conditions, such as congestive heart failure.

What does the test result mean?

Elevated GGT levels may indicate that something is damaging the liver but not specifically what. In general, the higher the level the greater the "insult" to the liver. Elevated levels may be due to liver disease, but they may also be due to other conditions, such as congestive heart failure and alcohol consumption. A high GGT level would help rule out the cause of an increased ALP as a bone disorder.'

A hemangiomais a noncancerous (benign) mass that occurs in the liver. A liver hemangioma is made up of a tangle of blood vessels. A certain percent of the population has hemangiomais and they are of no clinical significance. Most people who have a liver hemangioma never experience signs and symptoms and never need treatment. Of course it is important for the doctor inturrpting the image to be able to tell the difference between a hemangiomais and HCC (liver cancer). If a liver hemangioma grows large enough to push on nearby structures in your abdomen, it can cause signs and symptoms and may signal that you need treatment.

Talk to the doctor that ordered the test to find out what the test could mean for you. Your doctor should be a specialist that understands liver disease and masses of the liver. A gastroenterologist or hepatologist. A primary care physician does not have training in liver disease and liver masses.

Good luck.

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