To assess the sensitivity, specificity and clinical value of prealbumin as liver test, prealbumin plasma levels were measured in 100 patients with liver disease and in 65 patients without clinical evidence of liver impairment. The sensitivity of prealbuminemia was higher than that of albumin, pseudocholinesterase, apolipoprotein and prothrombin activity. Its specificity was higher than that of pseudocholinesterase and comparable with the specificity of other liver tests. Prealbumin plasma levels were progressively decreasing in patients with liver cirrhosis graded as Child’s A, B and C, respectively. In these patients prealbuminemia was correlated with galactose elimination capacity, assumed to be an index of maximal liver functional capacity.

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