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Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): About Your Child's Test

Closeup of the liver, and its location in the body

What is it?

An alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test measures the amount of the enzyme ALP in your child's blood. ALP is made mostly in the liver and in bone. But some of it is made in the intestines and kidneys.

Why is this test done?

The ALP test is done to:

  • Help look for liver disease.
  • Check for bone problems (sometimes found on X-rays). Some examples are rickets, osteomalacia, bone tumours, and Paget's disease.
  • Check to see how well treatment for Paget's disease or a vitamin D deficiency is working.

How do you prepare for the test?

In general, you don't need to do anything before your child has this test. Your doctor may give you some specific instructions.

How is the test done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

How long does the test take?

The test will take a few minutes.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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