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Int Surg J. 2016; 3(3): 1184-1192

Role of elevated liver transaminase enzymes in diagnosis of liver injury in cases after abdominal trauma

Adel H. Elbaih, Mohamed A. Ali, Ahmed Abozaid, Bassem M. Saady, Sherif H. Farrag.

Background: Major liver trauma in polytraumatic patients accounts for significant morbidity and mortality. Delayed diagnosis of patients with severe liver injuries is associated with an adverse outcome. Diagnostic modalities include serial abdominal examination, focused abdominal sonography for trauma, computed tomography scanning, diagnostic peritoneal lavage. The objective of this study was to detect relationship between raise of serum levels of hepatic transaminase enzymes and liver injury, and if the degree of the rise may also correlate with the severity of hepatic injury after abdominal trauma.
Methods: cross sectional, prospective study observational study of all patients admitted emergency department in Suez Canal university hospital. Patients with abdominal trauma were subdivided (according to either surgical record after abdominal exploration or CT scans reports released by radiology department) in two groups, group with liver injury (31) cases and those without liver injuries (31) cases.
Results: As regard to alanine aminotransferases (ALT) our study showed that serum ALT was raised in 28 cases from 31 cases of liver injury and only 4 patients with raised serum ALT did not have liver trauma (sensitivity: 90.3%, specificity: 87% , CI: 88.7%). Regarding aspartate aminotransferases (AST) our study showed serum AST was raised in about 21 cases from 31 cases of liver injury and only 7 patients with raised serum AST did not have liver trauma (sensitivity: 93.5%, specificity: 77.4% , CI: 87.1%).
Conclusions: An abnormal ALT and AST can predict the presence of hepatic injuries in abdominal trauma patients, while the level of the abnormality can determine the severity of the insult to the liver. Also we can conclude that ALT is more specific for liver injury more than AST, Although AST show high sensitivity for liver injury than ALT.

Key words: Liver transaminase enzymes, Liver injury, Abdominal trauma

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