Liver disease tests, diagnosis and screening

Did you know?
There are over 100 types of liver disease, which affect around two million people in the UK.  The actual figure may be much higher, as many cases of liver disease go undiagnosed.

If your GP suspects you have a liver problem, they may suggest a routine blood test to:

  • Assess how well your kidneys and liver are working
  • Check haemoglobin levels (to see how much oxygen is being transported around the body by your red blood cells)
  • Check your white cell count (to check how well your immune system is working).

This helps to give your doctor a better idea of your general physical health.

If liver disease is suspected, more specific blood samples may be needed to test for viruses and antibodies common to disorders of the liver. Tests may also be requested to check for genetic or hereditary conditions. You might need to have imaging tests (such as ultrasound, a CT scan or an MRI scan) or an endoscopic procedure (where a tiny camera is used to investigate what’s going on inside the body) to enable doctors to get the full picture.

All of these tests are explained in this section.

Please note that this page, and the corresponding publication, do not cover testing for viral hepatitis. For more information on testing for hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, see our Testing for viral hepatitis section.


The British Liver Trust does not recommend home liver tests offered by private companies. The results of these tests do not provide a comprehensive assessment for determining the presence of liver disease. If you have concerns about your liver health, we recommend that you consult your GP. They will conduct a range of tests, consider your medical history, and integrate all the results to make an informed decision about the necessity of additional tests or potential treatment.