Alkaline phosphatase isoenzymes have been studied by acrylamide gel disc electrophoresis in 76 patients with liver disorders comprising 15 with an extrahepatic lesion, 53 with an intrahepatic lesion, and eight patients who had features of both intra- and extrahepatic disease. No intestinal band was found in the 15 cases of extrahepatic liver disease, in marked contrast to the patients with intrahepatic lesions in whom an intestinal band was found in 45% of cases. The intrahepatic group was heterogeneous, a high incidence of intestinal bands being found in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. It is concluded that where a raised serum alkaline phosphatase is found in a patient with jaundice, and a gut band is present on electrophoresis, the lesion is likely to be intrahepatic.
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