Klin Onkol 2012; 25(6): 427-433. DOI: 10.14735/amko2012427.

The overall condition and prognosis of a patient can be affected by impaired liver function. It applies to anticancer pharmacotherapy, liver surgery and radiological interventions. The liver condition is usually assessed by common laboratory tests and clinical examination in daily practice. Liver tests consist of aminotransferases – alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, lactate dehydrogenase, albumin and prothrombin time, less frequently prealbumin and cholinesterase. The alkaline phosphatase and aspartate transaminase are markers of a liver damage, the alkaline phosphatase and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase are most useful as markers for cholestatic liver injury. Albumin, prealbumin, cholinesterase and prothrombin time are the markers of synthetic liver function. Bilirubin and bile acids are related to the liver transport and excretory capacity. The Child-Pugh score is used to assess prognosis of chronic liver disease, mainly cirrhosis. The examination of liver function using indocyanine green helps to determinate the extent of possible liver resection. A mathematical analysis of dynamic cholescintigraphy and a calculation of hepatic extraction fraction enables quantification of liver function. Other liver function tests are of little use in oncology.


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