Prognostic value of biochemical liver parameters in neonatal sepsis-associated cholestasis


  • Declaration of conflict of interest: None declared.
  • This study is supported by the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.

Correspondence: Dr Hanifah Oswari, Division of Gastrohepatology, Department of Child Health, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta 10430, Indonesia. Fax: +62 21 3907743; email:



The aim of the study was to evaluate the significance of total bilirubin, aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) for predicting outcome in sepsis-associated cholestasis.


A retrospective cohort review of the hospital records was performed in 181 neonates admitted to the Neonatal Care Unit. A comparison was performed between subjects with low and high liver values based on cut-off values from ROC analysis. We defined poor prognosis to be when a subject had prolonged cholestasis of more than 3.5 months, developed severe sepsis, septic shock or had a fatal outcome.


The majority of the subjects were male (56%), preterm (56%) and had early onset sepsis (73%). The poor prognosis group had lower initial values of GGT compared with the good prognosis group (P = 0.003). Serum GGT (cut-off value of 85.5 U/L) and AST (cut-off value of 51 U/L) showed significant correlation with the outcome following multivariate analysis. The odds ratio (OR) of low GGT and high AST were OR 4.3 (95% CI:1.6 to11.8) and OR 2.9 (95% CI:1.1 to 8), respectively, for poor prognosis. In subjects with normal AST values, those with low GGT value had relative risk of 2.52 (95% CI:1.4 to 3.5) for poorer prognosis compared with those with normal or high GGT.


Serum GGT and AST values can be used to predict the prognosis of patients with sepsis-associated cholestasis.