Medline ® Abstract for Reference 27
of 'Approach to the patient with abnormal liver biochemical and function tests'
Findings on liver biopsy to investigate abnormal liver function tests in the absence of diagnostic serology.
Skelly MM, James PD, Ryder SD
J Hepatol. 2001;35(2):195.
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.
Division of Gastroenterology and Pathology, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.