Clinical significance of elevated alanine aminotransferase in blood donors: a follow-up study
Version of Record online: 26 NOV 2004
Volume 24, Issue 6, pages 575–581, December 2004
How to Cite
Torezan-Filho, M. A., Alves, V. A. F., Neto, C. A., Fernandes, H. S. and Strauss, E. (2004), Clinical significance of elevated alanine aminotransferase in blood donors: a follow-up study. Liver International, 24: 575–581. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2004.0970.x
- Issue online: 26 NOV 2004
- Version of Record online: 26 NOV 2004
- Received 28 August 2003, accepted 28 June 2004
- blood donors;
Abstract: Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation in blood donors can be related to many variables such as viral hepatitis, overweight and ethanol consumption.
Background/Aims: This study aims to define factors associated with ALT elevation in candidates for blood donation, to evaluate ALT levels during follow-up, and to establish a histological diagnosis of hepatic disease.
Methods: Alcoholism, obesity, drug-induced liver disease, diabetes, hemochromatosis and α 1-anti-trypsin deficiency were investigated in 119 subjects (113 males, six females, aged 33.4±8.4 years) who were hepatitis B surface antigen/anti-hepatitis C virus negative and had been rejected as blood donors as a result of elevated ALT (>1.5 times the upper normal limit (UNL) in two determinations). During follow-up, ALT was determined every 8 weeks and liver biopsy recommended in cases with persistently elevated ALT levels.
Results: Obesity (30.2%) and alcoholism (28.6%) were most frequently associated with ALT elevation and in 9.2% of cases no association was found. ALT levels decreased significantly, regardless of the associated factor. Liver histology in 40 patients showed steatosis (35%), steatohepatitis (30%), non-specific reactive hepatitis (12.5% of cases), normal liver (15% of cases) and alcoholic cirrhosis, hemochromatosis and non-specific portal fibrosis in three cases.
Conclusion: ALT levels usually dropped during follow-up and although severe hepatic lesions can be found in asymptomatic blood donors, mild hepatic damage is the rule.