Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)

Other names: ALK PHOS; Alkp; PHOS Alkp; Soft-ALP
Specimen: Blood

U/L

1
40
130200

Your Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) is

Normal blood serum levels of ALP vary by age, particularly for women; normal levels range between 45-115 U/L for males 19 and older, and 52-144 U/L for females age 17-23.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme produced primarily by the liver and bone tissue (the intestines, kidneys, and, in pregnant women, the placenta also produce distinct forms of the enzyme). The test is often used to detect blocked bile ducts, which respond by producing more of the enzyme. In bone, ALP is produced by the cells (called osteoblasts) that are responsible for bone formation, which is why the test can be used to diagnose Paget's disease or detect cancers that have spread to the bone, both of which raise ALP blood levels.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme produced primarily by the liver and bone tissue (the intestines, kidneys, and, in pregnant women, the placenta also produce distinct forms of the enzyme). The test is often used to detect blocked bile ducts, which respond by producing more of the enzyme. In bone, ALP is produced by the cells (called osteoblasts) that are responsible for bone formation, which is why the test can be used to diagnose Paget's disease or detect cancers that have spread to the bone, both of which raise ALP blood levels.
Children and adolescents normally have higher blood ALP levels because their bones are still growing and levels of the enzyme can spike during growth spurts. Pregnancy can sometimes increase ALP blood levels 2-3 times normal, particularly in the 3rd trimester (in pregnancy, the source of the additional enzyme is the placenta). ALP levels also rise temporarily as the body mends fractures. Other causes of elevated ALP levels include Hodgkin's disease, congestive heart failure, ulcerative colitis, and certain drugs, such as anti-epileptics (oral contraceptives, on the other hand, may decrease levels).