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Liver Function Tests and Needle Biopsy in the Diagnosis of Metastatic Cancer of the Liver

Ann Intern Med. 1963;59(1_Part_1):62-73. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-59-1-62
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Despite the many papers written about liver function tests in the diagnosis of metastatic liver disease (1-17), the value of such tests remains uncertain. Some investigations measured only a single test of liver function (1, 2, 5, 7, 14, 17), some studied small groups of patients (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 12), and in other patients the presence of hepatic metastases was based solely on clinical evidence (1, 14).

To assess properly the diagnostic role of liver function tests in metastatic cancer of the liver, the tests should be performed and interpreted without regard to signs or symptoms suggestive of


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