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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have cirrhosis of the liver. Test showed decline in albumin level. Should I be concerned?

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Dr. Dinesh Kumar Singal

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 140 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 17 Jan 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: My mom has cirrhosis of the liver hep c. Her recent blood test last week showed Albumin level 2.9. In August her Albumin level was 3.2. That is a big drop in a few months. She was diagnosed with cirrhosis 11 years ago.

What does the sudden decline of her Albumin mean?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dinesh Kumar Singal 8 hours later
Dear XXXXXXX,
Thanks for contacting XXXXXXX
Albumin is a indicator of synthetic function of liver. A drop in albumin over a period of time indicates progression of liver disease. Since your mother already has cirrhosis, probably it has progressed. Has HCV infection in your mother been treated with peg interferons? Treating HCV helps in stablising liver functions.
Hope my answer is useful to you.
You can get back to me if you have any further queries.
Best wishes.
Dr Dinesh Singal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Dinesh Kumar Singal 13 hours later
Thank you for your reply.

Question: my mom's Afp-L3 result was 9.8. Is this high? Should We worry of possible liver cancer?

other info from results
protein 8.5
Afp fluctuates...52 to 162 to 79
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dinesh Kumar Singal 1 hour later
Dear XXXXXXX,

Thanks for contacting again.

Her AFP is high but is not as high to consider liver cancer at this point of time. If it was more than 200 then possibility of liver cancer was high.

AFP-L3 fraction is a new test which measures AFP-L3 as a fraction of AFP. Patients with result more than 10% are more likely to develop liver cancer. In your mother's case it is 9.8% which is a borderline value, so she needs close monitoring and frequent follow-up for liver cancer.

Best wishes.

Dr Dinesh Singal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Dinesh Kumar Singal 21 hours later
I was wondering ...

My mom's sodium and HDL are low all of a sudden.

sodium 133 low
Cholesterol, total 121 low
hDL cholesterol 39 low

1. Question...Should we be concern that she may have ascites?
2. Question...what do these results mean given she has cirrhosis?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dinesh Kumar Singal 1 hour later
Dear XXXXXXX,

Yes, she may have ascites. You need to get a sonological (ultrasound) examination to rule that out. Low sodium usually occurs in cirrhosis due to excess of water retention. This is why ascites also occurs in these patients.

Cholesterol levels go down in cirrhosis due to poor synthesis.

Dr Dinesh Singal


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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