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AST and ALT out of range...

Aug 10, 2003

i recently went to a clinic... complaning of coughing up blood for over 9 months, intense abdominal pain, liver pain. Diagnosed with Hep C almost 2 years ago..recovering junky... very uncertain what my hepatic function panel means...pretty scared. my "AST" was 55IU/L and my "ALT" was 96IU/L ... i'm aware that it is "Out of range" but what does that really mean? The doctor i saw said that the blood and bile is probably unrelated... doesn't the liver produce bile? Just totally confused. they told me i needed a liver biopsy. could this kill me? i'm only 20 ya know. thank you for this site.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

These processes may indeed be related. In addition to producing bile, the liver is a key filter organ and produces all the clotting factors your body needs to make sure you can stop bleeding. If your liver is severely damaged from HCV infection or from other causes, then your blood will not clot effectively and you bleed from various places (lungs, GI tract, etc). A liver biopsy may be in order to determine the severity of liver damage and whether it might be reversible with treatment for HCV. Although the procedure has some risks, it is a relatively routine procedure when performed by expert hands.

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