Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Traffic Light Blood Test for Detecting Liver Damage

Researchers from the University of Southampton, England talks about a new color-coded “traffic light” blood test, which they claim can more precisely diagnose the alcohol-related liver diseases in the patients.

Professionals added that liver cirrhosis and fibrosis in heavy alcohol drinkers are now easier to detect with the new blood tests and moreover, the results drawn are more accurate than the present diagnostic approaches.

Liver disease is considered as one of the most fatal diseases because its symptoms usually are noticed after liver failure leaving not much time for the professional to do anything big for the patient. But, by performing this simple test, detecting liver damage will become easier.

The test looks for substances in the blood, called procollagen-3 N-terminal peptide and hyaluronic acid, which are usually signs of liver damage. It also tests your platelet count. Platelets make up part of your blood, and a low platelet count can be a sign of liver damage.

After taking the test, people are ‘scored’ according to the results of their blood test. People who score zero are given a green light and are not thought to have any liver damage and are unlikely to die from liver disease over the next five years. People who score one are given an amber light, meaning there is at least a 50 in 100 chance of liver scarring (doctors call this fibrosis) with a higher chance of dying within five years. People who score 2 or more are given a red light, meaning they have fibrosis and may already have liver damage.

Issued in the British Journal of General Practice, the authors of the study said that the test will help the general practitioners, and primary care physician to early determine if high risk patients have liver damage or no.

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