BACKGROUND: Assessment of hepatic functional reserve in acute and chronic liver disease is a discriminating factor for prognostic and therapeutic reasons. For this reason dynamic liver function tests have been developed.
AIM: To review the breath method with stable carbon isotopes in hepatological setting.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a literature review to analyze the experimental evidence about the diagnostic potential of breath tests of liver function.
RESULTS: Liver breath tests are able to discriminate between healthy subjects and patients with liver cirrhosis. The use for the assessment of liver fibrosis seems to be still burdened with less capability to discriminate between intermediate stages.
CONCLUSIONS: Liver breath test are a promising tool for the evaluation of hepatic functional reserve but the use of such methods in clinical practice is limited to specialized or research centers. Most extensive studies are necessary to facilitate the spread of these methods in clinical practice.
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To cite this article
L. Miele, G. Marrone, C. Cefalo, S. D’Achille, G.l. Rapaccini, A. Gasbarrini, A. Grieco
Potential use of liver function breath tests in the clinical practice
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 17 - N. 2 Suppl