Alcoholic liver disease differential diagnosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: M. Khurram Afzal, MD [2]

Overview

Alcoholic liver disease should be differentiated from other diseases that produce similar symptoms, and other types of liver diseases. It should also be differentiated from diseases of the gallbladder. Conditions that may present in a similar manner to alcoholic liver disease are; cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, drug toxicity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and other forms of hepatitis (eg. viral, autoimmune).

Differentiating Alcoholic liver disease from other Diseases

Alcoholic liver disease can be differentiated from other diseases on the basis of clinical manifestations including fever, abdominal pain and jaundice. The diseases are:[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Abbreviations: RUQ= Right upper quadrant of the abdomen, LFT= Liver function test, SIRS= Systemic inflammatory response syndrome, ERCP= Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, N= Normal, AMA= Anti mitochondrial antibodies, LDH= Lactate dehydrogenase, GI= Gastrointestinal, CT= Computed tomography

Classification of jaundice based on etiology Disease History and clinical manifestations Diagnosis
Lab Findings Other blood tests Other diagnostic
Family history Fever RUQ Pain Pruritis AST ALT ALK BLR Indirect BLR Direct Viral serology
Hepatocellular Jaundice Alcoholic

liver disease

Alcoholic hepatitis - -/+ -/+ - ↑↑ N ↑/N N - - -
Cirrhosis -/+ -/+ -/+ - ↑/N ↑/N ↑/N -/+ Low platelet Small liver on ultrasound
Jaundice Hemochromatosis + - -/+ - ↑/N ↑/N N - Ferritin Liver biopsy
Wilson's disease + - -/+ - N ↑/N N - Serum cerulloplasmin ↑ Liver biopsy
Viral hepatitis - -/+ - - N ↑/N N + Specific viral antibody for each type -
Drug induced hepatitis - -/+ - - N ↑/N N - - -
Autoimmune hepatitis -/+ - - -/+ N ↑/N N - Anti-LKM antibody Liver biopsy
Cholestatic Jaundice Common bile duct stone -/+ - + + N N N - Dilated ducts on ultrasound CT/ERCP
Hepatitis A cholestatic type - -/+ + + N N N + HAV- AB Abdominal ultrasound
EBV / CMV hepatitis - -/+ + + N N N + Positive serology -
Primary biliary cirrhosis -/+ - -/+ + N/↑ N/↑ N - AMA positive Liver biopsy
Primary sclerosing cholangitis -/+ - -/+ + N/↑ N/↑ N - Beading on MRCP Liver biopsy
Pancreatic carcinoma + - -/+ - N/↑ N/↑ N - Mass on ultrasound CT scan for diagnosis

References

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  13. Epstein O, Dick R, Sherlock S (1981). "Prospective study of periostitis and finger clubbing in primary biliary cirrhosis and other forms of chronic liver disease". Gut. 22 (3): 203–6. PMC 1419499. PMID 7227854.
  14. Attali P, Ink O, Pelletier G, Vernier C, Jean F, Moulton L, Etienne JP (1987). "Dupuytren's contracture, alcohol consumption, and chronic liver disease". Arch. Intern. Med. 147 (6): 1065–7. PMID 3592873.
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  16. Groszman R, Franchis R. Portal hypertension. In: Schiff E, Sorrell M, Maddrey W, editors. Diseases of the liver. Philadelphia: Lippincot Williams & Wilkens; 1999. p. 415.



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