Laboratory features of ALD
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Patients with alcoholic liver disease are often identified through routine screening tests. The typical laboratory abnormalities seen in fatty liver are nonspecific and include modest elevations of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP), often accompanied by hypertriglyceridemia and hyperbiliru- binemia. In alcoholic hepatitis and in contrast to other causes of fatty liver, AST and ALT are usually elevated two- to sevenfold. They are rarely >400 IU, and the AST/ALT ratio is >1 (Table 335-2). Hyperbilirubinemia is accompanied by modest increases in the alkaline phosphatase level. Derangement in hepatocyte synthetic function indicates more serious disease. Hypoalbuminemia and coagulopathy are common in advanced liver injury. Ultrasonography is useful in detecting fatty infiltration of the liver and determining liver size. The demonstration by ultrasound of portal vein flow reversal, ascites, and intraabdominal venous collaterals indicates serious liver injury with less potential for complete reversal.