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Das SK, Mukherjee S, Vasudevan DM, Balakrishnan V
Correspondence: Dr Subir Kumar Das, email@example.com
Introduction Readily available laboratory tests are extremely useful in achieving a better understanding of diseases, and thereby, allow thoughtful management decisions to be made. The examination of peripheral blood smears usually provides excellent clues to the cause of the disease. The main objective of this study was to compare the haematological parameters of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and assess whether these tests have any discriminant value between the two conditions.
Methods The haematological parameters were investigated in 105 NAFLD patients, 40 ALD patients, 32 alcoholics and 77 normal participants.
Results The haemoglobin, red blood cell, haematocrit, lymphocyte count and platelet count were significantly reduced, while the mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin and prothrombin time expressed as an international normalised ratio (PT/INR) were significantly elevated in ALD patients compared to the other groups. The platelet count was significantly reduced, while the PT/INR and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were significantly elevated in alcoholics compared to normal participants. ESR was also significantly elevated in ALD patients compared to normal participants and NAFLD patients. Compared to the control group, the NAFLD patients have significantly higher haematocrit and significantly lower platelet count.
Conclusion Chronic alcoholism is associated with inflammation and haematotoxic effects, while NAFLD has limited effect on haematological parameters.
Keywords: alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, platelet count
Singapore Med J 2011; 52(3): 175-181