Diagnostic Highlights


Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition


Prothrombin time (PT)

Viral hepatitis seriologies: hepatitis A virus (HAV) hepatitis B virus (HBV) hepatitis C virus (HCV) hepatitis D virus (HDV) hepatitis E virus (HEV) (See Hepatitis, p. 410)

Liver function tests

Varies by laboratory; generally 11-13 sec

Negative results

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), 4-46 U/L; aspartate aminotransferase (AST), 8-20 U/L; alkaline phosphatase, 32-92 U/L

Prolonged >15 sec

If patient has hepatitis: acute HAV: positive anti-HAV IgM; acute HBV: anti-HBV IgM; HB surface antigen; acute HCV: anti-HCV antibody, HCV RNA; HDV: anti-HDV IgM, HDV antigen; HEV: not available; Non A Non B: all tests negative

ALT elevated as high or higher than 1000 U/L; AST elevated as high or higher than 1000 U/L; alkaline phosphatase mildly elevated

Prothrombin is formed in the liver and is a vitamin K-dependent glycoprotein that is necessary for firm clot formation

Identify patients with hepatitis; virus leads to markers such as immunoglobulins (IgG and IgM), antigens, antibodies

Determine the extent of liver damage

Other Tests: Bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase, complete blood count, serum glucose, serum sodium and potassium, liver ultrasound, ammonia, albumin, and liver biopsy

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