Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) encompasses a spectrum of injury, ranging from simple steatosis to frank cirrhosis.
Typical Laboratory Abnormalities in ALD
- AST >>> ALT: Both usually <300 IU/L
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and g-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT): Both usually elevated to a variable degree
- Electrolyte abnormalities: low potassium, magnesium and phosphorus
Tests of liver function
- Serum albumin, prothrombin time, and serum bilirubin usually normal until significant liver injury present
- Mild anemia common (usually macrocytic)
- Platelets (normal to markedly decreased)
- Elevated white blood cell count: Leukemoid reactions associated with alcoholic hepatitis
Abbreviations: AST, aspartate aminotransferase; ALT, alanine aminotransferase
- O’Shea RS, Dasarathy S, McCullough AJ. Alcoholic liver disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan;105(1):14-32. [Medline]
- McCullough AJ, O’Connor JF. Alcoholic liver disease: proposed recommendations for the American College of Gastroenterology. Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 Nov;93(11):2022-36. [Medline]
Created Sep 10, 2013.