This study was undertaken to see if liver function tests (LFT) served a worthwhile purpose in the investigation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Sera from 80 HCC, 76 benign liver disease (BLD) and 152 healthy adult (HA) subjects were assayed for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase, bilirubin and albumin. Cut-off values were determined from the HA. ALP, GGT, AST and albumin were abnormal in about 90% of the HCC. With the exception of bilirubin, the LFT were abnormal more frequently in HCC than in chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, the conditions which preceed it. Raised ALP in the presence of normal bilirubin was more often a feature of HCC than BLD although this relationship was not statistically significant. It seems unlikely that LFT serve a useful function in HCC.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.