Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

People with early-stage cirrhosis of the liver usually don't have symptoms. Often, cirrhosis is first detected through a routine blood test or checkup.

Tests and procedures used to diagnose cirrhosis include:

  • Liver function tests. Your blood is checked for excess bilirubin and certain enzymes that may indicate liver damage.
  • Magnetic resonance elastography. This noninvasive advanced imaging test, developed at Mayo Clinic, detects hardening of the liver.
  • Other imaging tests. MRI, CT and ultrasound can image the liver.
  • Biopsy. A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken to identify the severity, extent and cause of liver damage.

If you have cirrhosis, your doctor is likely to recommend regular diagnostic tests to monitor for signs of disease progression or complications, especially esophageal varices and liver cancer.

Jan. 30, 2013