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Hepatogastroenterology 1982 Oct;29(5):175-177

The diagnostic necessity of liver biopsy in drug abusers with normal liver function tests.

Arthurs Y, Doyle GD, Fielding JF

Forty-six of sixty-one drug abusers admitted for detoxification had liver biopsies. Nineteen biopsied patients had normal liver function tests. Of these, two had chronic active hepatitis; nine had chronic persistent hepatitis; six including three with fatty changes, had minor changes, and only two had normal liver histology. Chronic active hepatitis was found only in those with persistent HBS antigenaemia. Chronic persistent hepatitis was found in four patients who were negative HBS antigen and antibody, and in four patients who had cleared HBSAg. In parenteral drug abusers with normal liver function tests the absence of persistent HBS antigenaemia does not rule out chronic liver disease: liver biopsy is necessary for accurate assessment of liver status.

PMID: 7173805, UI: 83080956