Navigation Links
New 'traffic light' test could save lives with earlier diagnosis of liver disease

A new 'traffic light' test devised by Dr Nick Sheron and colleagues at University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital could be used in primary care to diagnose liver fibrosis and cirrhosis in high risk populations more easily than at present.

Liver disease develops silently without symptoms, and many people have no idea they have liver failure until it is too late one-third of people admitted to hospital with end-stage liver disease die within the first few months. A simple test available in primary care could diagnose disease much earlier, enabling those at risk to change their behaviour and save lives.

The Southampton Traffic Light (STL) test, details of which are published in the September 2012 issue of the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP), combines several different tests and clinical markers which are given a score that indicates the patient's likelihood of developing liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis.*

The result comes in three colours: red means that the patient has liver scarring (fibrosis) and may even have cirrhosis, green means that there is no cirrhosis and the patient is highly unlikely to die from liver disease over the next five years. Amber means there is at least a 50:50 chance of scarring with a significant possibility of death within five years, and patients are advised to stop drinking to avoid further disease and death.

The test was given to over 1,000 patients, and their progress was carefully followed and monitored afterwards, in some cases over several years, to assess the accuracy of the test in predicting whether they developed liver fibrosis or cirrhosis.

The test proved to be accurate in severe liver disease, and while not a substitute for clinical judgement or other liver function tests, can provide GPs with an objective means to accurately assess the potential severity of liver fibrosis in high-risk patients for example, heavy drinkers, those with type II diabetes, or obese people.

Dr Nick Sheron, lead author and Head of Clinical Hepatology at the University of Southampton, and consultant hepatologist at Southampton General Hospital, said: "We are reliant on general practitioners detecting liver disease in the community so they can intervene to prevent serious liver problems developing, but so far we haven't been able to give them the tools they need to do this. We hope that this type of test for liver scarring may start to change this because the earlier we can detect liver disease, the more liver deaths we should be able to prevent."

Study co-author and GP Dr Michael Moore said: "In primary care, minor abnormalities of existing liver tests are quite common but we struggle to know how best to investigate these further and who warrants specialist intervention. The traffic light test has the advantage of highlighting those at highest risk who should be investigated further and those in whom the risk is much lower where a watchful approach is more appropriate. This is not a universal screening test but if targeted at those in whom there is a suspicion of liver disease should result in a more rational approach to further investigation."

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance added: "One of the challenges of liver disease, which is rising dramatically in this country, is the silent nature of the condition until it is often too late to reverse the damage. However, minor changes in standard liver blood tests are so common that it is difficult for GPs to know when to refer for specialist advice. This large study from Dr Sheron and colleagues in Southampton may prove really useful for guiding the right patients towards specialist care in a timely way."


Contact: Becky Attwood
University of Southampton

Related medicine news :

1. Multiple thought channels may help brain avoid traffic jams
2. Cancers with disorganized traffic systems more difficult to treat: U of A research
3. Policies to discourage drug trafficking should account for complexity of the game
4. Narconon Louisiana Supports United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
5. Scientists first to see trafficking of immune cells in beating heart
6. Adding More Neurosurgeons Could Cut Traffic Deaths: Study
7. Video shows the traffic inside a brain cell
8. Pesticides May Be Linked to Slightly Smaller Babies, Shorter Pregnancies
9. Presidential keynote address and new research highlights from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology meeting
10. Scientific session and new research highlights
11. U.S. Gives Green Light to Publish Controversial Bird Flu Research
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... limb amputations in the United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient ... therapeutic behaviors) are often catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates mobile ... wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they are ... of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, Illinois, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and medical ... the devices for sale in the United States. Clarity is a Superior Dual ... Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that is easy to own and operate. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... manufacturing, supports SACC-GA and SACC-USA through membership and leadership since 2008. ... and Chair for SACC-USA . Gary has spent a significant amount of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... NHS Foundation Trust on receiving the 2015 HSJ Acute Sector Innovation Award on ... of improving the patient care experience, and propose exciting enhancements to the medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... and TELTOW, Germany , December ... (SMI) , a leading global manufacturer of eye and ... has included SMI remote eye trackers as a ... healthcare providers assess concussions, eye sight, and medical and ... -oem technology is part of SMI,s mass-market-ready eye tracking ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 01, 2015 ... the "Drug Delivery Technology Market 2015 - ... --> ) has announced the ... 2015 - Forecast to 2020" report to ... ( ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ALISO VIEJO, Calif. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... on the prevalence of symptoms for pseudobulbar affect ... uncontrollable outbursts of laughing and/or crying resulting from ... the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing home ... of Geriatric Psychiatry. The study showed that almost ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: