Q:  What does it mean if my child's Alkaline Phosphate level is high?

Dear Ms. H' --
Hmm, tough one without more info'.  There are 3 liver enzymes we monitor with routine blood testing to see if there's anything wrong there.  Two are associated with cells busting from toxins like alcohol and some drugs (including occasionally drugs we're giving).  These are the "transaminases", usually listed as SGOT and SGPT.  Then there's Alkaline Phosphatase (AP).  Sometimes that goes up a little when the transaminases do, but if it's up all by itself, in theory that's supposed to be more associated with problems in the bile system -- the channels from the liver to the intestine that carry away waste products the liver has filtered from the blood and metabolized. 

However, there are other sources of AP, like bone -- so you'll have to ask the doctor who ordered the test what she/he was looking for and what this means.

Dr. Phelps

Published March, 2001