Assessment of liver function using a novel galactose single point method

H. S. Tang, O. Y.P. Hu

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36 Citations (Scopus)


A novel, simple, clinically useful quantitative liver function test, called the galactose single point (GSP) method, was developed by measurement of galactose blood concentration 1 h after galactose was administered (0.5 g/kg). It was quickly infused intravenously in 55 normal healthy volunteers, 73 patients with chronic hepatitis (CH), 36 with cirrhosis and 41 with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients with CH diagnosis were assessed by liver biopsy. Cirrhosis was diagnosed by histological examination or a chronic hepatitis history with esophageal varices or ascites, whereas HCC was diagnosed either histologically, or cytologically proved, or as implied in the 'one imagine study' being positive with AFP > 300 ng/dl. Highly significant galactose blood levels were observed between normal healthy volunteers and patients 50, 60 and 70 min after galactose was administered. Galactose elimination capacity (GEC), modified GEC (MGEC) and consecutive GSP tests were performed in 6 healthy volunteers for 2 days. 0.64-16.87% variation was observed for each subject. The significant differences (p < 0.001) in average GSP values were 247 ± 18.1, 422 ± 27.3, 629 ± 42.8 and 579 ± 43.6 μg/ml for normal healthy volunteers, CH, cirrhosis and HCC patients, respectively. Highly significant correlations (p < 0.001) were obtained among GSP, GEC and MGEC for all patients. Positive correlations were observed between GSP, GEC, MGEC and AST (serum aspartate aminotransferase), ALT (serum alanine aminotransferase), serum bilirubin, albumin, prothrombin time and r-globulin. According to results obtained from 202 normal healthy volunteers and patients, the GSP method may be a simple, clinically useful quantitative measurement of liver function for the determination of a patient's residual liver function, the prognosis of liver function for patients with cirrhosis, postoperational follow-up and, finally, the timing of a liver transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-231
Number of pages10
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Galactose elimination capacity
  • Galactose single point method
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Modified galactose elimination capacity
  • Residual liver function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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