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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

elevated enzyme levels

My doctor told me that my enzyme levels are high in my liver.  They seem to think its due to having gallbladder attacks.  Soon I will have laparoscopic surgury to have my gallbladder removed.  What concerns me is that they want to do a liver biopsy.  Is this really necessary at this time?  I would think another blood test could be done later to check the enzyme levels to see if they have normalized. How common is it to do a liver biopsy under these conditions?
10 Responses
Avatar universal
I had the same thing: gallstones and now high AST and ALT in my liver blood work. My AST was 45 (up to 40 is normal) and my ALT was 62 (up to 40 is normal). What was yours? A liver biopsy is usually done to find if a stone is blocking the bile duct. It means you have to remain in the hospital for 6 hours afterwards to make sure there isn't bleeding. I read this in my Harvard Medical Book. What kind of pain do you have...any back pain?
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed in October and also had a liver biopsy done at that time due to elevated liver enzymes.  When I had my levels tested again two weeks after my surgery, the levels dropped dramatically (one is now normal and the other is only elevated by 2 or 3 points).  I had heard that gallbladder problems can definitely affect the liver enzymes.  I also have fatty liver which showed first on ultrasounds and CT scans and is part of the reason for my elevated enzymes.  I don't know of liver biopsies being done to rule out stones in the ducts (isn't that procedure called ERCP?), but I do know they are done to look for all sorts of things - infections, diseases, etc.  As far as I know it is fairly common and is not overly risky.  Risks are bleeding, injury to the gallbladder & kidney, and collapsed lung according to Yahoo.  I would definitely recommend getting it done during your gallbladder surgery.  They are going to be in there anyway, and it will help rule out so many things, so why not?  Your enzyme numbers can vary from day to day, so just going by bloodwork may not give the whole picture.

Oh, and the six hour thing - depending on what state you live in, you will be in the hosp for about 23 hours after your gall bladder surgery.

Good luck.  Hope you do well with your surgery!
Avatar universal
Just found this message board.  Had my physical Jan 5, 02. For the first time, my AST level was 44; ALT level was 83, and GGT was 93.  Total cholesterol is 343.  5'11", 210 pounds.  Not a heavy drinker at all - more like moderate -- one to two glasses of wine at night, or maybe a beer with dinner.  Occasionnal rum and coke, but still have same bottle purchased in October.  Not feeling "well".  Only 39 yoa.  Significant back pain at night that wakes me up, makes it difficult to turn over.  Seems pronounded on my left side (yes, I know liver is on right side), especially early morning hours.
No jaundice.  Not a drug user.  Married and monogamous for 16 years. Bilirubin levels normal - all other liver function tests normal excpet three mentioned.  Any ideas on causes.
Avatar universal
Forgot to mention -- serious stress at work.  Have been experiencing localized chest pains in left upper rib cage.  Some are sharp and take my breath, others dull and lasting.  Twice my left side of neck and face have felt numb.  Have been immunized against Hep. B.
Avatar universal
have you been tested for hepatitis c?
i had the same problems (still have) my doc ran the test after a routine physical showed elevated liver enzymes.
just a suggestion.
tots
Avatar universal
I definitely have gallstones. I know that already. I am getting tested for Hepatitis C. Back in September my liver enzymes were very normal.

About the six hour thing...my med books say that is for after the liver biopsy to watch the patient for bleeding and problems.

About the gallbladder surgery, my Doc says I can go home that afternoon if it is laproscopic and I get up and walk around, cough, etc. Any problems with digestive and/or bowel movements after your gallbladder surgery?

Thanks
Avatar universal
Scary thougth - Hep. C.  Have a followup Feb 5.  Doc thinks it is just due to high cholesterol and high job stress.  My levels were not high enough to make him worry.  I did start on Lipidor though!  Thanks.
Avatar universal
Got my liver results back after staying off meat for 10 days. I also don't drink alcohol so had none of that and my liver tests came back normal. ALT 18, AST 18 and Hepatitis panel: negative!
Lipitor can raise liver enzymes in tests.

Do what I did and get re-tested without the Lipitor.
Avatar universal
I recently bought a house and applied fo insurance. Denied for high enzyme levels. recent test showed. ALT-270: AST-84: ALCPHOS-100: Albumin-4.3: Bilirubin 0.4: Direct Bilirubin-0.1:
Came up Hep negative and nothing else wrong anyone else with same type of prob. 26-5'6" 185lbs Married Computer Technician
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Avatar universal
A related discussion, how much should i worry about high enzyme count? was started.
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