Should I have a Liver biopsy
Dec 26, 2002
I have HIV and HBV. On meds for 15 months, Trizavir-Viracept. AST 13, ALT 8, ALK PHOS 68. My ID Doc just ordered HBV by PCR VL test and gave me a referral to GI Doc. With these numbers should I be asking for Liver Biopsy or ultrasound. What are the chances that I have cirrosis. Moderate to heavy drinker in the past. No Drugs.
Also, Hematology comments include Few Howell-Jolly bodies present. I don't recall seeing this before and have no idea what it means.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
Howell-jolly bodies are small pieces of DNA inside red blood cells. They are an indication that the spleen (a filtering and immune organ) is not working as well as it should (hyposplenism). These bodies could also indicate hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) from a variety of causes. Hyposplenism can be associated with active hepatitis or HIV infection. Most GI docs would do an ultrasound first anyway. They will look at the size and consistency of the liver and should also look at the spleen. There are also other blood tests (albumin, INR, etc) that can be measured to see how well your liver is working.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.