Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Health Library
Health Insurance Marketplace Assistance
Interpreter and Communication Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Records
Accountable Care Organization
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials
Food and Nutrition Services
Back to Health Library   Print This Page Print    Email to a Friend Email

Definition:

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a protein found in all body tissues. Tissues with particularly high amounts of ALP include the liver, bile ducts, and bone.

A blood test can be done to measure the level of ALP.

See also: ALP isoenzyme test



Alternative Names:

Alkaline phosphatase



How the test is performed:

Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around your upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.

Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.

Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.



How to prepare for the test:

You should not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the test, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.

Many drugs affect the level of alkaline phosphatase in the blood. Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking certain drugs before the test. Never stop taking any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

  • Allopurinol
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Birth control pills
  • Certain arthritis drugs
  • Certain diabetes medicines
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Cortisone
  • Male hormones
  • Methyldopa
  • Narcotic pain medicines
  • Propranolol
  • Tranquilizers
  • Tricyclic antidepressants


How the test will feel:



Why the test is performed:

This test is done to diagnose liver or bone disease, or to see if treatments for those diseases are working. It may be included as part of a routine liver function test .



Normal Values:

The normal range is 44 to 147 IU/L (international units per liter).

Normal values may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory. They also can vary with age and gender. High levels of ALP are normally seen in children undergoing growth spurts and in pregnant women.



What abnormal results mean:

Higher-than-normal ALP levels may be due to:

Lower-than-normal ALP levels (hypophosphatasemia) may be due to:

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:



What the risks are:



References:

Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver test results. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 150.




Review Date: 5/7/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100