Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Wangler, Julian
Jansky, Michael
Title: Evaluation of elevated liver values in primary care : a series of studies on the status quo of care in Germany with special reference to alcoholic liver disease
Online publication date: 10-Feb-2023
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: Background In primary care, elevated liver values often appear as incidental findings. As well considering the presenting symptoms, key factors in effective diagnosis are which liver values to include as indicators and when to refer patients for further diagnostics. It is also important that there is coordinated collaboration between GPs and specialists. There has hitherto been a lack of reliable findings on the status quo regarding the evaluation of (abnormally) elevated liver values in primary care. Methods Between 2017 and 2021, four written explorative surveys of GPs and gastroenterological specialists were conducted in various German states, aimed at taking stock of the current status of GP-based diagnostics of (abnormally) elevated liver values. In addition, interviews were conducted with 14 GPs and gastroenterological specialists. This review article discusses the overall findings of the series of studies in a condensed manner at a higher level. The article aims to derive starting points for optimising the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis in primary care. Results There are various challenges and problems associated with the evaluation of elevated liver values. For example, GPs draw on very different laboratory parameters, which are combined in different clusters. When elevated liver values are found, a majority of GPs prefer a controlled wait-and-see period, but often make use of direct referrals to specialists due to diagnostic uncertainties. GPs report interface problems with gastroenterological specialists, which are associated, among other things, with the preliminary evaluation that has been made and the timing of referral. Both GPs and specialists consider the introduction of an evidence-based diagnostic algorithm to be an important starting point for improving early detection and better coordination between healthcare levels. Conclusions Efforts should be made to contribute to greater professionalisation and standardisation of primary care diagnostics and to better structure the interaction with gastroenterological specialists. These include a wider range of training formats, the development of a validated diagnostic pathway and the mandating of a liver function test as part of the check-up. The development of a GP-based guideline for managing elevated liver values also seems advisable.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
Information on rights of use:
Journal: BMC primary care
Pages or article number: 104
Publisher: BioMed Central
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 2731-4553
Publisher DOI: 10.1186/s12875-022-01714-x
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

Files in This Item:
  File Description SizeFormat
evaluation_of_elevated_liver_-20230210092240278.pdf1.2 MBAdobe PDFView/Open