Lege Artis Medicinae

[SERUM ALANIN AMINOTRANSFERASE VALUES AND CHRONIC HEPATITIS C - HOW MUCH IS “NORMAL”, AND WHO SHOULD BE TREATED?]

HUNYADY Béla

MAY 16, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(04-05)

[Serum aminotransferases (= transaminases), especially alanin aminotransferase have been used in the diagnosis of liver diseases, including viral hepatitis, for decades. However, reliability of these biochemical markers was challenged in various respects by recent clinical studies. First, it has been shown not to be sensitive enough in screening for viral hepatitis in high risk populations (viral hepatitis may be present with normal values). Second, normal range is exceeded in a large number of subjects without genuine liver disease due to the increased proportion of people with metabolic disease (diabetes, dyslipidaemia) or high body weight, i.e., the upper limit of normal is too strict. Moreover, decision on treatment of patients with viral hepatitis infection and persistently normal aminotransferases poses a challenge for the clinician. Based on the current literature, this review attempts to provide guidelines for the everyday clinical practice.]

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