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J Hepatol. 2001 Aug;35(2):195-9.

Findings on liver biopsy to investigate abnormal liver function tests in the absence of diagnostic serology.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Pathology, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

The significance of abnormal liver function tests in the absence of diagnostic serology is unclear. The aim of this study was to report liver biopsy findings in a large group of patients with unexplained abnormal liver biochemistry.

METHODS:

Histological findings were examined in 354 patients who underwent liver biopsy to investigate abnormal liver function tests.

RESULTS:

Six percent of patients had a normal liver biopsy while 26% were found to have some degree of fibrosis and 6% were cirrhotic. Thirty four and 32% of biopsies suggested non-alcoholic steatohepatits or fatty liver respectively. Other diagnoses included cryptogenic hepatitis, drug toxicity, primary and secondary biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune hepatits, alcohol-related liver disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis, haemochromatosis, amyloid and glycogen storage disease. Patient management was directly altered in 18% of patients due to liver biopsy findings and three families were entered into screening programmes for inheritable liver disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

The finding of abnormal liver function tests in the absence of diagnostic serology may indicate significant liver disease. Liver biopsy yields a range of liver diseases of diverse nature and extent. Liver diseases may be uncovered for which specific treatment is indicated.

PMID:
11580141
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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