Abnormal liver enzyme levels may signal liver damage or alteration in bile flow.

Liver enzyme alteration may be either the accompanying biochemical picture in a patient with symptoms or signs suggestive of liver disease or an isolated, unexpected finding in a patient who has undergone a wide range of laboratory tests for a nonhepatic disease or for minor, vague complaints.

The latter situation is a common clinical scenario today because of the routine incorporation of hepatic tests in automated blood chemistry panels. Isolated alterations of biochemical markers of liver damage in a seemingly healthy patient often represent a challenge even for the experiencedclinician and usually set off a battery of further, costly tests and consultations that may ultimately prove unnecessary.

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