Gastrointestinal varices laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Syed Hassan A. Kazmi BSc, MD [2]


Cirrhosis of the liver is the most common cause of portal hypertension worldwide. A range of laboratory values may be obtained in the evaluation of cirrhosis, in order to determine disease severity and causation. Liver function tests, complete blood count, basic metabolic panel and coagulation factors are standard in the evaluation of cirrhosis. More specific testing for markers and serum enzymes may be performed when certain etiologies are suspected.

Laboratory Findings

Markers of chronic liver disease/cirrhosis

  • Laboratory abnormalities may be the first indication of cirrhosis.

Liver function tests:

Hematologic abnormalities:  [29]

AST to platelet ratio index (APRI)


Other laboratory studies performed in newly diagnosed cirrhosis may include:

Combination of tests

  • Another method is the Lok index[41]
  • A more recent meta-analysis has focused on the diagnosis of cirrhosis among patients with hepatitis C[43] using the Lok index:
    • < 0.2 has negative likelihood ratio of 0.21
    • > 0.6 has positive likelihood ratio of 4.4


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