Using a new and sensitive screening method, dysfibrinogenaemia (DF) was detected in 76% of patients with cirrhosis, 78% with chronic active liver disease and 86% with acute liver failure. The incidence was much lower in obstructive jaundice (8%) and miscellaneous liver disorders (4%). It is concluded that the fibrin monomer polymerisation (FMP) ratio test is a simple and sensitive test for the detection of DF, and is useful in the differential diagnosis of hepatocellular and obstructive jaundice. Hyperfibrinogenaemia, particularly in patients with obstructive jaundice, may explain the high incidence of abnormal thrombin and Reptilase clotting times despite normal FMP ratios. Dysfibrinogenaemia dose not appear to be related to the degree of liver function impairment, but may be associated with regeneration of hepatic tissue.
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