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Azam Approach Liver Diseasse Jan 2017 Copy .pdf

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Approach to a Patient with
Liver Diseases
Dr. Md. Golam Azam
Assistant Professor
Department of Gastrointestinal, Hepatobiliary
and Pancreatic Disorders (GHPD)
BIRDEM General Hospital

• Diagnosis of liver disease usually can be made
accurately by a careful history, physical examination, and
application of a few laboratory tests.
• In some circumstances, radiologic examinations are
helpful or, indeed, diagnostic.
• Liver biopsy is considered the criterion standard in
evaluation of liver disease but is now needed less for
diagnosis than for grading and staging of disease.

Learning objectives
• Introduction to diagnosis and management of liver disease
• Major clinical manifestations of liver disease
• Use of clinical history, physical examination and laboratory
tests, imaging studies, and liver biopsy.

Function of the liver
Hepatocytes perform numerous and vital roles in maintaining
homeostasis and health. These functions include –

the synthesis of most essential serum proteins
(albumin, carrier proteins, coagulation factors, many
hormonal and growth factors)

the production of bile and its carriers
(bile acids, cholesterol, lecithin, phospholipids)

the regulation of nutrients
(glucose, glycogen, lipids, cholesterol, amino acids)

metabolism and conjugation of lipophilic compounds (bilirubin,
anions, cations, drugs) for excretion in the bile or urine.

Liver function test
The most commonly used liver “function” tests are
measurements of serum bilirubin, albumin and prothrombin

the serum bilirubin level is a measure of hepatic conjugation
and excretion, and

the serum albumin level and prothrombin time are measures
of protein synthesis.

Liver function test

Abnormalities of bilirubin, albumin and prothrombin time are
typical of hepatic dysfunction.

Frank liver failure is incompatible with life, and the functions
of the liver are too complex and diverse to be sub served by
a mechanical pump; dialysis membrane; or blend of infused
hormones, proteins, and growth factors.

Classification of liver disease
Usually classified as hepatocellular, cholestatic or mixed.
In hepatocellular diseases (such as viral hepatitis or alcoholic
liver disease), features of liver injury, inflammation and necrosis
In cholestatic diseases (such as gallstone or malignant
obstruction, primary biliary cirrhosis, some drug-induced liver
diseases), features of inhibition of bile flow predominate.
In a mixed pattern, features of both hepatocellular and
cholestatic injury are present (such as in cholestatic forms of viral
hepatitis and many drug-induced liver diseases).

Evaluation of patients with liver disease
Should be directed at –
(1) establishing the etiologic diagnosis
(2) estimating the disease severity (grading) and
(3) establishing the disease stage (staging)
Diagnosis should focus on the category of disease such as
hepatocellular, cholestatic, or mixed injury, as well as on
the specific etiologic diagnosis.

• Grading refers to assessing the severity or activity of
disease—active or inactive, and mild, moderate, or
• Staging refers to estimating the place in the course of the
natural history of the disease, whether acute or chronic;
early or late; precirrhotic, cirrhotic, or end-stage.

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