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Quantitative Liver Function

LIVER DISEASE

The liver regulates chemical levels in the blood and excretes bile. Bile helps to break down fats, preparing them for further digestion and absorption. All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines pass through the liver. The liver processes this blood and creates nutrients for the body to use. The body cannot live without a functioning liver.

The basic functioning unit in the liver is a “lobule”.  Liver function is largely determined by the number of functioning lobules and the rate of blood flow through them.  As liver disease progresses, there may be a decrease in the number of functioning lobules, and changes in blood flow to them. The PHM® index is a measure of the effective number of functioning lobules and the effective blood flow through them.  Thus, the PHM index provides quantitative liver function.

As infections, alcohol and fat buildup cause damage, scar tissue (“fibrosis”) accumulates in the liver.  This process is known as fibrogenesis.  Severe fibrosis is known as “cirrhosis”.  The injured liver may also regenerate thus mitigating some of the damage.  As liver disease advances, it can cause portal hypertension with splenomegaly (enlarged spleen), enlarged or shrunken liver, and loss of liver function.  The amount of liver function remaining is determined by the net effect of fibrogenesis and regeneration. 

It is the residual quantitative liver function that determines disease outcomes.  Measuring fibrosis alone is not good enough!  To learn more, please contact us at sales@hepatiq.com.