Why ordering a liver test might be a bad idea

Too many patients are being tested for elevated liver enzymes leading to unnecessary worry, biopsies and costs, according to US gastroenterologists.

Instead of overtesting, doctors should exclude common liver issues before testing for the uncommon ones, they say.

Their paper, published in the the Journal of Hepatology, focuses on the 1-2% of all hospital patients who show very high levels of liver enzymes, and the 8% of clinic patients who have slightly high levels.

"Physicians are legitimately thinking they're doing the right thing by ordering the full panel of tests, being thorough