Alcoholic liver disease laboratory findings
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It is important to take a complete history and find out about the patient's alcohol use and current signs and symptoms for alcoholic liver disease. As laboratory tests do not give the definitive diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease. It is also important to rule out other causes of liver disease such as, chronic viral hepatitis which could co-exist, autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis and drug related hepatotoxicity. Initial assessment must include a complete blood count, hepatic panel (ALT, AST, bilirubin, GGT, alkaline phosphatase), INR and PT.
Laboratory findings consistent with the diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease include:
- Elevated liver enzymes:
- Elevated levels of gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT) will indicate heavy alcohol use and may also indicate liver injury. This test is sensitive but not specific
- Elevated triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia)
- Elevated uric acid levels (hyperuricemia)
- Low potassium levels (hypokalemia)
- Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
- Elevated index of red blood cell size; increased mean corpuscular erythrocyte volume (MCV)
- Increased number of white blood cells (leukocytosis)
- Decreased number of platelets (thrombocytopenia)
- Increased International Normalized Ratio (INR)
- Increased bilirubin levels, prolonged prothrombin time (PT) and decreased circulating albumin (hypoalbuminemia) are seen in alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis
- Iron overload:
2010 AASLD/ACG Alcoholic Liver Disease Guidelines (DO NOT EDIT)
Laboratory Tests : Guidelines (DO NOT EDIT)
|1. " For patients with a history of alcohol abuse or excess and evidence of liver disease, further laboratory tests should be done to exclude other etiologies and to confirm the diagnosis. (Level of evidence: C) "|
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