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Table 1 Viral, genetic, and autoimmune diseases of the liver (tested for by a "liver panel"), their prevalence in the British population and diagnostic algorithms.*

From: Should patients with abnormal liver function tests in primary care be tested for chronic viral hepatitis: cost minimisation analysis based on a comprehensively tested cohort


Prevalence amongst adult population (%)

Blood tests done on all members of the cohort (to diagnose or screen for the disease)

Diagnostic algorithm

Chronic viral hepatitis C

0.42 [46]

Hepatitis C virus antibody (HCV Ab)

Viral marker positive.

Chronic viral hepatitis B

0.3 [47]

Hepatitis B viral markers (HBV Surface Ag)

Viral marker positive.

Metal storage disease: Iron

0.25 (prevalence of phenotype; homozygous plus complex heterozygous) [48]

Iron saturation

Genotype if iron saturation >50%.

Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)

0.024 [49]

Antimitochondrial Ab

Raised antibodies and raised ALP level.

Autoimmune hepatitis

0.001 [50]

Smooth Muscle Ab

Raised antibodies and raised ALT, AST or globulin exceeding twice the upper limit of normal. Confirmed by hepatologist.

Metal storage disease: Copper

<0.025 [51]


Low levels of caeruloplasmin.

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

<0.025 [52]

Alpha-1 antitrypsin

Low Alpha-1antitrypsin levels followed by phenotype testing.

  1. * Method by which the diagnosis was made.