The liver sits above the right kidney, intestines, and stomach, in the upper right section of the abdominal cavity. A cone-shaped organ that weighs about three pounds and is a dark, reddish-brown color, the liver receives oxygen-rich blood from the hepatic artery and nutrient-rich blood from the hepatic portal vein. At any given time, the liver has about 13% of the body’s blood flowing through its two main lobes. The organ’s main function is actually twofold: to regulate the levels of most chemicals in the blood and to excrete bile, a fluid that aids in digestion. To date, researchers have identified over 500 essential functions the liver is involved with, including: the regulation of blood clotting, the production of proteins for blood plasma, and the production of cholesterol.
The liver also contains several enzymes, which are chemicals that quicken chemical reactions occurring within our bodies. The Cleveland Clinic lists those found in the liver:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT)
- Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
- Aspartate transaminase (AST)
If these enzymes are found in increased amounts, it means the liver cells are injured or inflamed. These levels are analyzed using a blood test, which is called a liver enzyme test. A blood test is a good indicator of a liver condition because if the liver is injured, it will release enzymes into the bloodstream, causing their levels to be elevated. Your doctor might call in a liver enzyme test if you’re being treated for liver disease, or if you’re at a higher risk of developing one.
The Ezra abdominal, torso, and full-body scans look for cancerous and precancerous states in the liver, as well as other actionable conditions, such as cysts. If you’d like to learn more about our scans and pricing plans, you may do so at the following link.