An alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test measures the amount of the Reference enzyme Opens New Window ALP in the blood. ALP is made mostly in the Reference liver Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window and in bone with some made in the Reference intestines Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window and Reference kidneys Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. It also is made by the Reference placenta Opens New Window of a pregnant woman.
The liver makes more ALP than the other organs or the bones. Some conditions cause large amounts of ALP in the blood. These conditions include rapid bone growth (during puberty), bone disease (such as Reference Paget's disease Opens New Window or cancer that has spread to the bones), a disease that affects how much Reference calcium Opens New Window is in the blood (Reference hyperparathyroidism Opens New Window), vitamin D deficiency, or damaged liver cells.
If the ALP level is high, more tests may be done to find the cause. The amounts of different types of ALP in the blood may be measured and used to determine whether a high level is from the liver or bones. This is called an alkaline phosphatase isoenzymes test.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 20, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Alan C. Dalkin, MD - Endocrinology