What diagnostic methods does the hepatologist use?
The hepatologist always appoints an ultrasound examination of the liver, which will show the general condition of this vital organ, namely: whether the liver is enlarged, whether the structure of its tissues has changed or whether there are new growths. If a change in tissue structure is suspected, the hepatologist sends his patient to the MRI of the abdominal cavity. This diagnostic procedure will show the general condition of the abdominal organs and the interaction of the liver with them. A specific "hepatic" analysis, appointed by a hepatologist, is esophagoscopy (examination of the esophagus by means of a special tube) and colonoscopy (examination of the rectum with a colonoscope). All of the above diagnoses can help determine the health of the body as a whole, and the liver in this body.
Today, "advanced" patients know that you should not go to the doctor without the results of the basic tests. So, what tests do you need to pass to the hepatologist?
To diagnose liver diseases, it is necessary to pass a specific analysis of the blood, the so-called "liver profile." This analysis is a blood test for biochemistry, which will show the level of bilirubin (which increases with jaundice - a violation of the outflow of bile), the level of aspartate aminotransferase (the main enzyme produced by the liver cells, the increase of which is directly related to the inflammatory processes in the organ), the level of alanine aminotransferase (liver enzyme , the level of which increases with cirrhosis), the presence of C-reactive protein (appears in the decomposition of tissues, may indicate cirrhosis), as well as the level of gamma-glutamyltra nsferase (an enzyme produced by the liver, which significantly increases in the blood at the level of constant and prolonged intake of alcohol). The blood test for biochemistry is given in the morning on an empty stomach. For a couple of hours before the test, you can not smoke, drink juice, tea or coffee, and chew gum. It is not necessary, probably, to mention that 3 days before the test is done, it is necessary to refrain from taking alcohol, and also to exclude stresses and great physical exertion.