Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
High GGT
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High GGT

My Company doctor was very concerned when he found that my GGT level was 268 U/L and LDH 671 U/L (blood sample collected on 14 Sep 00).  So he refered me to a hospital resident consultant for further test. After the second blood test confirmed the high GGT , I was given a CT scan on my abdomen.  The result show no abnormalities in all the organs.
After a month the GGT become 275 U/L. The consultant physician told me not to worry about it and asked me to come back for another blood test after 3 months.
I obsolutely don't drink or smoke. I am 54 years old and 30 lbs more than my ideal weight.
My blood tests are perfectly normal except only the following:
Total cholesterol : 256 mg/dl
LDL cholesterol : 172 mg/dl
LDH : 671 U/L
GGT : 268 U/L
Should I go to a liver specialist for finding out the actual underlying cause?

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Dear Chan,
The GGT is a very sensitive test.  Elevation of GGT levels are not indicative for any specific illness.  In general terms, when the GGY is elevated the first step is to rule out structural abnormalities of the liver and obstruction of the bile ducts by gallstones.  This is accomplished by doing an ultrasound of the liver or a CT scan.

Once structural causes are excluded, attention is focused on excluding conditions that injure the liver cells.  Usually, other liver tests are also increased (e.g. SGOT, SGPT also known as AST and ALT)when liver cellsa re injured or leaky.

The possible causes for liver injury are multiple and include viral infection, alcohol-induced liver damage, autoimmune disease, medication or occupational related injury and metabolic abnormalities.  Fatty liver, a condition in whcih fat is deposited in liver cells, is a frequent cause for an elevated GGT.

The only way to be certain of the specific etiology is to have the appropriate blood tests to exclude the other causes.  If liver tests improve with weight loss that would be indirect evidence to suggest fatty liver.  Often, however, a liver biopsy is required for a definitive diagnosis.

This information is presented for educational purposes.  Ask specific questions to your personal physician.
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How long does GGT takes to decrease  after patient stops drinking, when it is likely that it is caused by alcoholism?
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