The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) has published updated Guidelines on the management of abnormal liver blood tests.
Liver function tests (LFTs) are a common means for healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care to try and exclude liver diseases, monitoring adverse drug effects on the liver, and investigating generally unwell patients. However, the clinical significance of abnormal LFT results is not always clear.
The BSG guidance was drafted specifically to guide healthcare professionals in the management of abnormal liver blood tests in both adults and children (though evidence for children is often lacking), closely following relevant NICE guidelines. Algorithms on response to abnormal liver blood tests, non-alcoholic fatty liver fibrosis, and alcohol-related liver disease are included. The 10 main recommendations made by the guidance cover the following areas:
- what constitutes an abnormal liver blood test?
- what constitutes a standard liver blood test panel?
- when should liver blood tests be checked?
- does the extent and duration of abnormal liver blood tests determine subsequent investigation?
- response to abnormal liver blood tests.
It should be noted these guidelines are not designed to support the management of underlying liver disease.