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Arch Intern Med. 1991 Feb;151(2):260-5.

Alanine aminotransferase in clinical practice. A review.

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Gastroenterology Service, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colo. 80045.


Alanine aminotransferase is an enzyme produced mainly in the liver. When serum activity is measured, it provides a marker of hepatic disease. This review explores the biochemistry and laboratory analysis of alanine aminotransferase in terms of its significance in human health and disease. Cut-off levels that define abnormality are rather arbitrary and this decreases the specificity of the test in apparently healthy patients. A small, but important, group of patients with alanine aminotransferase abnormality have underlying liver disease that may be treatable. Most can be diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and biochemical-serological profiles. Liver biopsy can complement the diagnostic process in selected circumstances. Literature pertaining to this is critically reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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