Blood test for cirrhosis of the liver

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  • General blood analysis
  • Biochemical blood test
  • Determination of the severity of the disease
  • Related videos

The blood test for liver cirrhosis remains the main diagnostic technique for the disease. It is the data of laboratory research that allows a doctor not only to confirm the presence of a lesion( even if there are no external signs), but also to prescribe an adequate treatment for the patient.

Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious pathology that can lead to premature death of a person. If we talk about what types of blood tests are practiced for the purpose of diagnosing, then this is a general and biochemical analysis. If necessary, specific tests can be assigned.

General blood test

In order to diagnose liver cirrhosis - when a typical symptomatology appears - the doctor appoints the patient to give a general blood test. This test will reveal or confirm the presence of pathology. For KLA, blood from the finger is taken. The fence is conducted in the morning, on an empty stomach.

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With cirrhosis of the liver, certain changes occur in the human blood that allow the doctor to draw specific conclusions:

  • There is a decrease in the level of hemoglobin of the blood. The norm for women is at least 120 g / l, for men - at least 130 g / l.
  • Fixed elevations in white blood cell count. The norm of leukocytes in a healthy person is 4-9 * 10⁹ / l.
  • Against the backdrop of liver damage there is an increase in the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation: high rates of ESR are a sign of the inflammatory process present in the body. In men, the rate of ESR exceeds 10 mm / h, in females - 15 mm / h.
  • Changes in the protein composition of the blood are also detected - a decrease in albumin levels is observed.

The general analysis of blood helps in diagnosing

The obtained data allow to diagnose cirrhosis of the liver. To clarify the current stage of the disease and the strength of the organ damage, a biochemical blood test is assigned.

Biochemical blood test

The biochemical blood test for liver cirrhosis is more informative. They help confirm / disprove the diagnosis, as well as determine the stage of organ damage. For biochemistry, blood is drawn from the ulnar vein. It is performed in the morning on the stomach.

As part of the blood are fixed quite specific changes. They concern the following indicators:

  • bilirubin - there is an increase in its both fractions;
  • transaminases - growth;
  • gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase - growth;
  • alkaline phosphatase - increases;
  • albumins( proteins) - there is a decrease in the level;
  • globulins - are increasing;
  • prothrombin - reduction occurs;
  • urea - reduced indicator;
  • cholesterol - decrease;
  • haptoglobin - growth in relation to the norm;
  • hepatic enzymes - an increase.
Particular attention is paid to the level of bilirubin, hepatic enzymes and changes in protein levels.


When studying the results of tests, the doctor looks at the level of bilirubin. He is recognized as one of the most important indicators. It is its excess in relation to the norm indicates inflammation of the liver and bile ducts. It is accepted to distinguish direct and indirect bilirubin, as well as general, representing the aggregate value of both fractions.

The norm for a healthy body is as follows:

  • total bilirubin - 8.5-20, 5 μmol / l;
  • straight - no more than 4.3 μmol / l;
  • indirect - not higher than 17.1 μmol / l.

What is bilirubin? This is a special bile pigment, formed after the breakdown of hemoglobin and red blood cells. It is the liver that processes and transforms the substance.

In this case, direct( free) bilirubin enters the bloodstream. But he circulates on the bloodstream for a short time. Free bilirubin, being a toxic substance, gets to the liver, where its neutralization takes place.

Subject to normal functioning of the body free bilirubin in the blood contains a minimum amount, unable to exert a negative impact on the human body. After getting into the liver, it binds and, thus, is rendered harmless.

Appears indirect bilirubin, almost not entering the total blood flow. Then the substance in the bile is transported to the intestine and, together with the calves, is eliminated naturally.

Increased blood bilirubin - one of the main signs of liver problems

With cirrhous damage, the liver is unable to neutralize all of the direct bilirubin. And the greater the damage to the organ, the more indirect bilirubin appears in the blood. Externally, this manifests itself in the yellowing of the skin and the sclera of the eyes. In addition, a person experiences severe itching.

In the formation of liver cirrhosis, the bilirubin fractions can exceed the permissible levels severalfold.

Specific liver enzymes

With the development of cirrhosis, the activity of both specific and non-specific hepatic enzymes increases. But if the increase in the latter can also occur with diseases of other organs, then specific hepatic biocatalysts increase only in the case of damage to liver tissue.

Nonspecific enzymes are:

Analysis for antibodies to hepatitis C
  • AlT - normally does not exceed 40 IU;
  • AsT - should not exceed 40 IU;
  • gamma-GGT - for women's group not more than 36 IU / l, for men - not higher than 61 IU / l;
  • alkaline phosphatase( alkaline phosphatase) - should not normally exceed 140 IU / L.

Aminotransferases - AlT and AsT - are directly involved in the process of producing amino acids. The production of these varieties of renal enzymes occurs inside cells, and therefore in the blood they are contained in a minimal amount.

But with cirrhous tissue damage of the organ accompanied by the decay of hepatocytes( liver cells), aminotransferases are actively released. And after entering the bloodstream, they are determined when performing a biochemical study.

Gamma-GGT is another enzyme necessary for a complete amino acid exchange. It accumulates in the tissues of pancreas, kidneys and liver. In the decay of hepatocytes, it is also in significant quantities excreted into the total bloodstream.

With cirrhosis, the liver exhibits a deviation from the norm and specific and non-specific enzymes

Alkaline phosphatase( AP) is necessary for the separation of phosphates from molecules. The enzyme accumulates in the liver cells and in cirrhosis, accompanied by a violation of the integrity of the cells of the organ, is excreted into the blood. There is a significant excess of indicators.

The list of specific liver enzymes includes arginase, nucleotidase and others. Deviation from the norm also occurs as a result of active decay of hepatocytes.

Protein level

A blood test in the presence of cirrhosis shows a deviation in the level of blood proteins. The affected liver is unable to fully participate in protein metabolism. The place of formation of albumins( proteins) is liver tissue. And when the body is no longer able to produce this protein, the study shows its decline.

The norm of albumins is a value of 40-50 g / l. But with cirrhosis of the liver, both the level of albumins and the total protein are recorded. The norm of the latter is 65-85 g / l.

Additional indicators of

In addition to the indicators discussed, the physician is interested in several more values:

  • In liver cirrhosis, a reduced amount of testosterone appears against the background of an increase in the hormone estrogen.
  • The increase in insulin, necessary for the body for the cleavage and transformation of the glucose supplied with the food, is determined.
  • The liver becomes a place for the synthesis of urea, therefore, if the functions of the organ are disturbed, its value is reduced to 2.5 mmol / l and less.
  • An increase in the level of haptoglobin is observed. It indicates the presence of an inflammatory process.
  • There is a decrease in blood cholesterol.

Based on the findings of the study, the doctor diagnoses and picks up the treatment

To determine the type of cirrhosis, blood tests are assigned for the presence of certain antibodies. In autoimmune cirrhosis, a blood test is performed for antinuclear antibodies. To determine the biliary cirrhosis due to prolonged bile duct obstruction, it is recommended to test blood for the presence of antimitochondrial antibodies.

Determination of the severity of the disease

The analysis allows the physician to determine the severity of cirrhosis. For this, the Child-Pugh classification is used.

Points Level of bilirubin Level of albumin INR Ascites Hepatic encephalopathy
1 Less than 34 Over 35 Less than 1.70 - -
2 34-51 30-35 1.70-2.30 Therapy is possible 1-2
3 More than 51 Less than 30 More than 2,30 Treatment possible, but it will be difficult 3-4

After receiving the results of the study, the doctor calculates the total number of points. Their number determines the severity of the damage to the liver.

  • The sum of 5-6 points indicates compensated cirrhosis.
  • The sum of 10-15 points is decompensated cirrhosis.

A blood test for cirrhosis is required not only to confirm the diagnosis and to identify the cause of the inflammation, but also the appointment appropriate to the current state of therapy. To obtain the most reliable results of the study, it is necessary to strictly follow all the recommendations for the preparation for delivery of biological material.

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