Assessment of Liver Function

Sandeep Mukherjee, John L. Gollan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


The liver is a complex organ with multiple functions and no single test can be used to assess its function. Such complexity is exemplified by the absence of any long-term means of artificial support short of organ transplantation, in contrast to the options available when loss of other vital organs occur. A variety of investigations are available to evaluate liver function but several have become obsolete due to their cost, complexity and substitution by modern imaging techniques and are not discussed here. This chapter focuses on the principal aspects of liver function and reviews common liver biochemical tests. From this chapter, readers should gain an excellent knowledge of the cardinal functions of the liver, be comfortable with the interpretation of abnormal liver biochemistries and also be cognizant of the limitations of these investigations. A thorough history and physical examination is always the first step in the evaluation of abnormalities in liver function and should guide physicians towards a prompt and cost-effective evaluation and diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSherlock's Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System, 12th Edition
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781405134897
StatePublished - May 5 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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