Clinical Pathology Approaches to Hepatic Injury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Testing the blood for evidence of hepatic damage and dysfunction frequently involves measuring several blood constituents simultaneously to screen for disease. While useful, this approach occasionally leads to apparent disparities between the blood test results, and the results of other diagnostic tests such as histology. In part, these perceived discrepancies may stem from a lack of appreciation for tissue, cellular, and molecular factors that affect the appearance of hepatic disease biomarkers in the blood. Further confusing the matter is that in some instances the mechanisms responsible for the appearance of diagnostic compounds in blood are only partially understood. Many of the known factors that affect hepatic biomarkers are similar to those affecting other tissue markers, while others are unique to the liver, such as those involved with cholestasis. Disease conditions can also cause misleading results by affecting tissue concentrations of test compounds, hepatic mass, and the clearance rate of compounds from the blood. Knowledge of the factors affecting the blood concentrations of biomarkers, as well as investigations into the mechanisms behind changes to hepatic biomarker concentrations, may allow for a better interpretation of blood test results and fewer inconsistencies between diagnostic results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalToxicologic Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Biomarkers
  • cholestasis
  • diagnostic tests
  • enzymes
  • liver disease
  • membrane leakage
  • necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology


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