New Delhi: Doctors have long been using biopsy to diagnose liver fibrosis. A new study says it may be possible to diagnose the liver disease with a blood test in future.
Researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi, working in collaboration with Justus Liebig University, Giessen in Germany, have identified diagnostic markers for liver fibrosis. With these markers, it will be possible to diagnose liver fibrosis from blood samples. It will make diagnosis easier to perform, non-invasive, and less prone to sampling errors, researchers say in their study published in journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology.
The new study has reported that patients of liver fibrosis have elevated levels of two proteins- Cathepsin L and Cathepsin B – in liver tissues as well as blood plasma, compared to healthy people. The increased levels of these two proteins open the possibility of designing a new and better diagnosis for liver disease. There is progressive increase in concentrations of the two proteins with advancement in the stages of liver cirrhosis, making them potential diagnostic tools.
The challenge is to find a marker that can differentiate between mild and severe stages of the liver fibrosis in addition to distinguishing between healthy and severely ill conditions.