for Veterans and the Public
Alkaline phosphatase (often shortened to alk phos) is an enzyme made in liver cells and bile ducts. The alk phos level is a common test that is usually included when liver tests are performed as a group.
Explanation of test results:
A high alk phos level does not reflect liver damage or inflammation. A high alk phos level occurs when there is a blockage of flow in the biliary tract or a buildup of pressure in the liver--often caused by a gallstone or scarring in the bile ducts.
Other things to know:
- Many patients with hepatitis C have normal alk phos levels.
- Hepatitis C treatment usually does not affect alk phos levels.
- Alk phos is produced in other organs besides the liver--it is also found in the bones and the kidneys.
- If your alk phos level is high, your doctor will probably order additional tests to determine why.