Navigation Links
New upper limit defined for normal ALT in adolescent males

A new cohort study of adolescent offenders in Australia has identified an upper limit for ALT that is more sensitive for the diagnosis of liver disease. The findings could facilitate targeted interventions for the youths in this group, who are at high risk for HCV infection and obesity-related liver disease. The study is in the December issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (

Few studies have examined the liver health of at-risk adolescents, or reported associations between liver biochemistry and hepatitis C virus or metabolic liver disease. Researchers Dr David van der Poorten and Professors Dianna Kenny and Jacob George of Sydney University, analyzed data from a large cohort of young male offenders under supervision by the New South Wales Department of Juvenile Justice in Australia, who took part in a comprehensive health study, funded by the Australian Research Council, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice and Justice Health. The researchers sought to create a new definition for the normal upper limit of liver biochemistry; to define the associations and implications of raised ALT; and to understand the risk factors and associations with hepatitis C.

They examined the results of liver tests and lipid studies from blood samples of 439 young male offenders serving community orders who agreed to participate in the health survey between October 2003 and December 2005. They also considered clinical, demographic, and lifestyle data and performed statistical analyses to determine relevant associations.

They determined the upper limit of normal for liver enzymes using the liver tests of the participants at lowest risk of liver disease. These young men had normal BMI, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure; and did not have hepatitis B or C infection, or high alcohol consumption. The researchers determined that the upper limit of normal was 28 IU/L for ALT; 32 IU/L for AST; and 29 IU/L for GGT. These are significantly lower than current upper limits for these tests which usually range from 45-55 IU/L.

Applying these cutoffs to all participants, they found that 17 percent had raised ALT, and compared to those with normal ALT, there was a strong association for overweight or obesity, the authors report. To prevent further hepatic damage and to minimize cardiovascular and diabetes risk, targeted interventions in adolescents at the earliest stages of metabolic dysfunction are a particularly high priority.

The new upper limits also detected 80 percent of the HCV-infected patients, who were significantly more likely to have injected drugs in the last 12 months. A one-year follow-up blood test of 81 of the original participants showed additional incidents of HCV antibodies, suggesting a new infection rate of at least 3.7 percent per year.

The results indicate a concerning level of HCV exposure among this population. Hence, greater education regarding blood borne viruses, risk factors for transmission and implementing harm minimization strategies in this population is crucial, the authors write. They also suggest routine hepatitis B vaccination.

In conclusion, they write, this study has provided a wealth of clinical and health related data relevant to adolescents. The new definition of normal adolescent ALT allows greater sensitivity in diagnosing early liver disease. By identifying those with hepatitis B, C and obesity related liver disease; targeted interventions can and should be implemented to minimize future health-related morbidity.


Contact: Amy Molnar

Related medicine news :

1. Fat on chest and upper back increases risk of insulin resistance
2. Patients may have sweet and effective way to prepare for upper GI endoscopy: an anesthetic lollipop
3. Supratek Pharma Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for SP1049C for the treatment of metastatic adenocarcinoma of the upper gastrointestinal tract
4. Don Messer Will Speak in Upper Room Chapel to Observe World AIDS Day
5. Prominent Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon Joins Radlink Board of Directors
6. GERD Not Limited to Grownups
7. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
8. Limiting Residents Hours Has Little Impact on Patient Mortality
9. Study finds limiting work hours for surgical residents enhances training
10. Severe heart attack damage limited by hydrogen sulfide
11. Limiting refined carbohydrates may stall AMD progression
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Olympic Gold ... are collaborating with brands across various categories through traditional and social media marketing ... an elite group of Gold Medal Moms who can connect with today’s most ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) honors ... Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in estate sales and ... than 850,000 members and over 200 operating Local Chapters. , “I’m pleased to welcome ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Being a caregiver for someone ... Maryland Health Care System, the Caregiver Support Program promotes the health and wellbeing ... job. Seventy-four percent report that their role as a caregiver has created marital ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to research by the ... dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase awareness of ... Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust could lack ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The Museum ... summer, ushering in a new era of publicly accessible automated technology. Now, by ... continue to offer guests an up-close look at the shuttle at MOSI’s main ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today announced it will ... access to a low-cost alternative to Daraprim (pyrimethamine) , ... recently priced out of reach for people with HIV, pregnant ... --> --> Imprimis is offering a compounded ... acid) for $1 per capsule for people whose pharmacy benefit is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... SINGAPORE , Nov. 30, 2015  QT Vascular ... Vascular", and together with its subsidiaries, TriReme Medical LLC ... global company engaged in the design, assembly and distribution ... of vascular disease, is pleased to announce that a ... Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ("Federal ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015   Royal ... announced the launch of Radiology Solutions, a fully ... Radiology Solutions comprises customized, data-driven practice management approaches ... to help radiology practices improve care delivery and ... 2015 Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: