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J Clin Gastroenterol. 1988 Dec;10(6):647-50.

Diagnostic value of liver biopsy in alcoholic liver disease.

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1
Department of Medicine, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

Because it remains debatable whether all patients with a clinical diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease should have a liver biopsy to help confirm the diagnosis, we evaluated the diagnostic value of liver biopsy in alcoholic liver disease. Studied were 108 consecutive patients who had a percutaneous liver biopsy for the first time. In all cases the patient's clinical diagnosis recorded before biopsy was compared with the histological diagnosis of an experienced histopathologist. Prebiopsy clinical data (reported alcohol intake, signs of chronic liver disease) and laboratory data (liver function tests, mean corpuscular volume, ferritin, hepatitis B serology) were reviewed. We found that a prebiopsy clinical diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease (n = 35) was confirmed by biopsy in all but one case. The prebiopsy diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease was significantly associated with a histological diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease (specificity 98%, sensitivity 79%). Individually, alcohol intake, signs of chronic liver disease, the alanine aminotransferase (ALT), the aspartate aminotransferase to ALT ratio, and the mean corpuscular volume were significantly associated with a histological diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease. When clinical and laboratory parameters were considered jointly using stepwise logistic regression, only reported alcohol intake and mean corpuscular volume were significant. Liver biopsy may not always be necessary for the identification of that broad group of patients with alcoholic liver disease.

PMID:
3068303
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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