Hepatitis C
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Articles by
Dr. Zhang
TCM and MCM Theory Related to Common Liver Disease Blood Test Markers

Low Dose Interferon Patient Experiment

Hepatitis A Prevention Reminder

Hepatitis: Causes of Pain in Liver Region 

The Need to Monitor Your Chronic Hepatitis

Liver Enzyme Fluctuation during Allergy Season 

What are the Serum Markers of Hepatitis B and What do They Mean?

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 2

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 1

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy -
Part 2

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy
Part 1

What Causes Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Cirrhotic Liver Disease

Dietary Support for Cirrhotic Liver Diseases

Ascites - A Complication of De-Compensated Liver Cirrhosis

Liver Cirrhosis - Portal Vein Hypertension Complications

Liver Cirrhosis Overview

PG-IFN and Ribavirin Treatments

Antibiotics and Chronic Liver Diseases

Why is Alcohol Harmful for People with Hepatitis?

Co-infections and Super-infections of Viral Hepatitis

Beware of Medications That Can Cause Liver Damage

Bile Retention and Its Clinical Manifestations (MCM) part 4

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Part 3 
Jaundice and Chronic Viral Hepatitis

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 2

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 1

What is Liver Fibrosis and How is It Different from Cirrhosis?

How does the liver change as we get older?

How is that my LFTs are so good when my viral load is seemly so high?

Comprehensive Care for Chronic Viral Hepatitis

What can Cause Liver Inflammation?  

What Are the Major Functions that the Liver Carries?


Important Liver Function Test Markers
Liver function tests (LFTs) are commonly used term for medical tests to show how the liver is doing. People often think that ALT and AST are the LFTs. As a matter of fact, the Liver has so many functions, and there are more than 700 different laboratory tests that have been developed for them. New tests are still coming to reflect newer functions discovered.

The existing LFTs can be roughly classified into four categories:

1. Tests that reflect liver cell damages: It consists of the levels of serum enzymes and serum iron. Serum enzymes, such as Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Alkaline phosphatase (AKP), Gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (GGT), show the liver cell leakage and necrosis. Among them, ALT and AST are the more sensitive indicator for liver damage. ALT in particular is much more sensitive in reflecting the acute liver damage relative to AST's ability reflect the degree of damage. The reasoning being ALT is more specific to the liver. During the recovery stage of the acute hepatitis, if ALT is normalized, but GGT is still elevated, this usually means the hepatitis is turning to chronic. In Chronic hepatitis, if GGT is consistently elevated, this usually indicates that the liver inflammation is active.

2. Tests that reflect metabolic and secretary functions of the liver: These tests are used to test the metabolic and eliminative functions of the liver. Some internal and external metabolites and chemicals have to be absorbed and metabolized and eliminated by the liver, such as bile, bile acid, drugs. Clinically, Bilirubin total and direct is the commonly used to show this function. When there is bile retention, or bile metabolic disorder, the patient may have jaundice, dark urine, pale stool, yellowish eye and skin. If bilirubin levels continuously rise while ALT is decreased, this separation of the levels of enzyme and bilirubin may suggest the disease is worsening.

3. Tests that reflect synthetic and storage functions of the liver: Serum albumin and blood clotting factors are synthesized in the liver. Glycogen is synthesized and stored in the liver to regulate the blood sugar levels. Serum albumin level drop down means the protein synthesis function deteriorated. Prolonged PT(Prothrombin time, is a test to see how quickly the blood is able to form a clot.) PTT (Partial thromboplastin time also called as activated partial thomboplastin time. It is a test to show the ability of the blood to form a clot.) If the GTT tests showed the blood sugar regulatory function of the liver are deteriorating, it may also show that the liver's glycogen synthesis function are also deteriorated and patient may experience hypoglycemia or high blood sugar levels.

4. Tests that reflect fibrostic activities: g-globulin increases show that the phagositosis function of Kuffer cells are deteriorating. This shows that the Kupffer calls can't clear the antigens from the blood circulation and nutrients absorbed from the intestine. Serum hyaluronic acid (HA), procollagen type III (PCIII), collagen IV (CIV) and laminin (LN) can reflect the activities of fibroblasts, fat storage cells, and stellate cells. These cells activities have a close relationship to fibrosis progression. Although we have so many different liver function tests, usually only the liver profile is regularly tested. Non-routine tests are usually very expensive. When we read the test results, we should not just look at only one or two items to judge the liver condition. Rather, we should look at all the figures and look for trends. Results from one test are not enough to make a solid determination of anything since many factors can cause abnormal fluctuations in the body.


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About HCV
Causes and Transmission

Diagnostic Tests
Viral Load

Viral Genotyping

Major Signs
Liver Inflammation

Peripheral Signs and Symptoms
Bile Retention
Joint Pains and Skin Rashes
Blood Sugar Instability
Portal Vein Hypertension

Important Liver Function Test Markers
PT (Prothrombin Time)
Liver Biopsy
Inflammation Grade
Fibrosis Stage
Interferon Based Treatment
Ideal Candidate
Possible Side-effects
Liver Support with TCM
Liver Enzymes
Serum Albumin
Blood Clotting Factors
Bile metabolism
Dietary Considerations
Essential Fats




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