Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Coll Surg. 2008 Nov;207(5):705-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2008.07.008. Epub 2008 Aug 30.

Establishing "normal" values for liver function tests after reconstruction of biliary injuries.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.



Abnormalities of liver function tests (LFT) are sometimes taken as evidence of a less than optimal result after repair of a biliary injury. Rather than indicating liver or anastomotic dysfunction, moderate LFT elevations can be "normal" for these patients. This study's aim was to determine LFT reference values after biliary-enteric anastomosis for biliary injury repair in persons who have had an excellent postoperative course for > 6 months.


Of 113 patients repaired, 73 were identified with the following characteristics: LFT available at > or = 6 months after repair, no biliary tract symptoms, no underlying liver disease, and biliary injury sustained during cholecystectomy. Outside LFT results were standardized to Barnes-Jewish Hospital reference values. One set of LFT per patient was collected at the following times points after repair: 6 months to 2 years, 2 to 5 years, and > 5 years.


For each distribution, the 97.5(th) p97.5ercentile values for alkaline phosphatase (> or = 166 IU/L) and total bilirubin (> or = 1.3 mg/dL) were elevated relative to Barnes-Jewish Hospital standard values. Values for alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase were more variable.


Moderate LFT elevations exceeding standard reference values are common after repair of a biliary injury in patients who have had excellent results. Alkaline phosphatase values fall with time after repair so that comparisons should take into account time from repair. Values < or = 97.5(th) percentile limits described here should not be taken as evidence of liver or anastomotic dysfunction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center