Liver function tests (LFT) are blood tests that are used to assess the state of liver and biliary system. The liver processes and filters the blood as it circulates through the body. It performs many vital functions that include preparing blood clotting proteins, metabolization of nutrients, and detoxification of harmful substances. The cells in the liver contain enzymes that are responsible for carrying out the chemical reactions. When liver cells are damaged or get destroyed the enzymes in the cells leak out into the blood, where they can be analyzed by performing liver function tests. Liver function tests evaluate two main liver enzymes in the blood namely; Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and Alanine aminotransferase (ALT).
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Liver function tests are one of the most commonly demanded screening blood tests. Whether for monitoring of disease activity, investigation of suspected liver disease, or simple blood routine analysis, these tests offer a host of information on variety of disease processes.Liver function tests also help healthcare professionals to distinguish different types of liver disorders, detect the presence of liver disease, gauge the extent of known liver damage, and follow the response to treatment.
Liver diseases represent a huge problem for the health care professionals, the diagnostic methods in hepatology are an important field for research and the development. Major challenge associated with chronic liver disease is the inability to detect the disease at early stage. Liver diseases affects huge number of individuals, according to the estimates of WHO, around 350 million people are chronically affected by hepatitis B. The rising incidence of hepatitis B and other liver diseases is expected to augment the market for liver function tests.
In terms of geography, the liver function tests market is segmented into six region; North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and, Middle East and Africa. North America accounts for the largest market for liver function tests followed by Europe due to technological advancement in diagnostic devices, upcoming new technologies and high disposable income. However, other regions such as Middle East, Latin America and South East Asia are expected to be the prospective markets in the near future owing to the high incidence rate of acute and chronic liver diseases. Also, due to the high adoption rate of advance medical and therapeutic equipments and highly developing healthcare industry, these regions are anticipated to be the potential market in the near future. However, Asia Pacific market is also growing at a very positive rate due to the growing healthcare facilities, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, encouraging reimbursement schemes and high adoption rate of precise medical instruments. Moreover, according to WHO, the prevalence of hepatitis C is proportionately high in Asia Pacific that would further boost the market for liver function tests in this region.
The global liver function tests marketis witnessing an admirable growth due to increasing incidence of liver disease, increase in intake of alcohol,high number of research activities in this segment and high awareness among people about these tests. Some of the major players operating in liver function tests market are Alpha Laboratories, Biobase Group, ELITechGroup, Horiba Medical, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Randox Laboratories Ltd and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
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