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August 30, 2001

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Question from South Setauket, New York, USA:

What happens when liver function levels are high?


This question is rather the wrong way around. It should be — what causes high liver function levels (LFT’s)? However, the answer would fill a book. Essentially, high LFT’s are an indication of inflammation of the liver and common causes are viral infection and alcohol abuse, but there are many others. Similarly, the outlook is dependent upon the cause — sometimes this is transient, and sometimes indicates serious liver damage. You should discuss the specifics with your doctor.