The emerging role of transport systems in liver function tests

Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 Jan 30;675(1-3):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.11.048. Epub 2011 Dec 6.


Liver function tests are of critical importance for the management of patients with severe or terminal liver disease. They are also used as prognostic tools for planning liver resections. In recent years many transport systems have been identified that also transport substances employed in liver function tests. Such substances include endogenous bilirubin or exogenously administered indocyanine green, agents for magnetic resonance imaging, agents for single photon emission computed tomography or agents for breath tests. The increasing functional and molecular information on the respective transport systems should improve the management and as a result the outcome of patients scheduled for liver surgery or transplantation. To achieve the latter goal, clinical studies that assess individual patients' liver function over the course of their disease with liver function tests are needed to firmly establish and validate recently introduced and novel liver function markers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Breath Tests
  • Hepatic Insufficiency / blood
  • Hepatic Insufficiency / metabolism
  • Hepatic Insufficiency / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / physiopathology*
  • Liver Function Tests / methods
  • Organic Anion Transporters / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Biomarkers
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Protein Isoforms