A simple biological index for detection of alcoholic liver disease in drinkers.


Poynard T, Aubert A, Bedossa P, Abella A, Naveau S, Paraf F, Chaput JC

1991 Gastroenterology Volume 100 Issue 5 Pt 1

PubMed 1672859 DOI None

Reliability vs. Biopsy Alcohol

To make liver biopsy unnecessary in certain cases, PGA (P, prothrombin time; G, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase; A, apoliprotein AI), a simple biological index combining a specific test for severe liver disease (prothrombin time), a sensitive test of alcoholic liver disease (serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase), and a test for liver fibrosis (serum apolipoprotein AI), was evaluated in a training sample of 333 drinkers and validated in 291 other drinkers. All patients underwent an intercostal liver biopsy, and the specimen was independently read by two pathologists. The PGA index varied from 0 to 12. When PGA was less than or equal to 2, the probability of cirrhosis was 0% and the probability of normal liver or minimal changes 83%. Conversely, when PGA was greater than or equal to 9, the probability of normal liver or minimal changes was 0% and the probability of cirrhosis 86%. These values did not vary between training and validation periods, between asymptomatic vs. symptomatic subjects or between PGA at admission vs. PGA 1 week later. This index could be useful for general practitioners in identifying subjects at high risk for severe alcoholic liver disease.

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