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Raphinos Uragu
Undergraduate Student
Biological Sciences
Texas Tech University
A Yellow-Bellied Lawyer?: A Case Study in Liver Physiology

This interrupted case study tells the story of Michael, a Harvard law graduate with a stressful job and a seemingly heavy drinking problem. Students are provided with background information, medical history, and lab results in order to guide them towards determining what is wrong with Michael. This study highlights cirrhosis and the effects of alcohol abuse on the liver. Before beginning the case study, students should have a background in the physiological role of the liver and the breakdown of hemoglobin. Students are asked to use the information provided for them in the case study to gather more information about liver cells and their functions, alcohol, and alcoholic liver damage. Ultimately, using multiple blood tests, the Maddrey's discriminant function (DF) score, and results from a magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), they will diagnose Michael with alcoholic cirrhosis. This case was developed for use in a non-majors physiology course, but could easily be used for a majors class.