Alkaline Phosphatase (ALK PHOS) Lab Values

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Hey everyone, Abby, here from In this lesson, we're going to discuss alkaline phosphatase. It's abbreviated as ALP. It's one of the liver enzymes and the liver function tests. We'll talk about its normal value and things that might cause it to be increased or decreased. Let's dive in!

Alkaline phosphatase is a lab value that measures the amount of ALP in circulation. Alkaline phosphatase is produced in the GI system, in the bones, and even in the placenta. We see it located in several places in the body, including the biliary tract, and measurement of this lab can help us determine if there's the presence of liver, bone, intestinal, or even lung cancer. It also is used to differentiate between whether or not osteoporosis is present in a postmenopausal woman. So, what do you think some clinical indications would be? Who do you think we might see in their clinical presentation needing this lab? Yes. If you thought jaundice, because we talked liver, you are right. Evaluation of ALP is necessary in the presence of hepatobiliary disease, malignancies like we talked about with certain cancers, bone disease, and even those that have bone damage who are also renal patients. Normal therapeutic value is between 40 and 130 units per liter. It's collected in a plasma separator tube. You'll see it here if you use the lab skeletons at the bottom. I like to call it ALK Phos. That's how we've seen it used in practice. Lab values will be increased in the presence of liver disease, bone disease, pregnancy, various cancers, chronic kidney disease and ulcerative colitis. We've talked about that, right? Liver, oh boy, liver, bone, and the GI system. It will be decreased with a condition called hypophosphatasia. It's a pretty rare disorder. It can also be decreased in anemia or cretinism, hypothyroidism, nutrient deficiencies, and scurvy. Okay? 


Linchpins for this lesson are that this is an enzyme and, the ALP is an enzyme and this lab measures the quantity of it in the blood. A normal value is between 40 and 130 units per liter. We'll see an increase in this value in certain cancers and during pregnancy. Hypophosphatasia can be present when lab values are greatly decreased, otherwise it's kind of rare. 


You did great on this lesson everybody. This wraps it up. We love you guys and remember, you can do this! Now, go out and be your best self today and as always, happy nursing!

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