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Liver. 1996 Apr;16(2):105-9.

Do serum ALAT values reflect the inflammatory activity in the liver of patients with chronic viral hepatitis?

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  • 1Department of Hepato-gastroenterology and Pathology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A retrospective study was carried out in 40 patients with chronic viral hepatitis, to assess whether serum alanine aminotransferase reflects the inflammatory process in the liver. Twenty liver biopsy specimens were included for each disease. Five histological aspects were scored: periportal inflammation, lobular inflammation, ballooning, Councilman bodies and lymphocyte follicles. Logarithmic values of alanine aminotransferase were correlated with each aspect using the Spearman correlation coefficient. For the hepatitis B cohort a statistical significant correlation was found between alanine aminotransferase and periportal inflammation (p = 0.0001), lobular inflammation (p = 0.0002) and Councilman bodies/area (p = 0.003). In the hepatitis C study population alanine aminotransferase correlates with both periportal inflammation (p = 0.007) and lymphocyte follicles/Area (p = 0.02). In conclusion, these results suggest that alanine aminotransferase can be used as an indicator of inflammatory activity. A prospective study is needed, to further analyze the use of alanine aminotransferase, as a monitor of disease activity in patients with chronic viral hepatitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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