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News » Blood test may be a diagnostic alternative to liver biopsy
 

Blood test may be a diagnostic alternative to liver biopsy

Liver scarring is currently detected only by obtaining a small tissue sample but European researchers claim that a blood test to measure the presence of four chemicals that indicate the presence of scar tissue can effectively diagnose the same condition. In the study, the blood test detected 95% of cases diagnosed by a biopsy. It is believed that up to 0.5% of the US population may have undiagnosed hepatitis C or some other viral liver disease. The risk of scar tissue (fibrosis) exists whenever a liver disease is present, whether it is caused by alcohol, a virus or liver failure. This impedes the functioning of the liver. 15% of patients with alcoholic liver disease will develop fibrosis and 25% of patients with viral disease will develop fibrosis.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by BBC News

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Article Source Details

About: Blood test may be a diagnostic alternative to liver biopsy

Date: 8 January 2005

Source: BBC News

URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4066923.stm

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