Rotavirus causes hepatic transaminase elevation

Jonathan E Teitelbaum, Rima Daghistani
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 2007, 52 (12): 3396-8
Rotavirus is one of the leading causes of acute gastroenteritis among children. While clinical complaints are generally intestinal including vomiting and diarrhea, there is evidence to suggest that disease outside the gastrointestinal tract occurs. This study examines the frequency of hepatic transaminase elevation in children with rotavirus gastroenteritis. Patients identified with rotavirus gastroenteritis by stool antigen testing between November 2005 and March 2006 had available serum analyzed for alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, and creatinine phoshosphokinase (CPK). Chart review was conducted to identify patients with possible liver injury unrelated to rotavirus. Among the 92 patients identified with rotavirus during the study period, 75 had serum specimens available for testing. Fifteen patients (20%) had elevated ALT and AST, including one patient with an increase in AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase, and total and direct bilirubin. The mean ALT elevation was 56 IU/L (range, 44 to 114 IU/L), and the mean AST elevation was 80 IU/L (range, 57 to 126 IU/L). Fifty-three patients (71%) had an increase in AST alone, and three patients (4%) had an increase in AST and alkaline phosphatase. The mean AST values in these groups were 61 IU/L (range, 42 to 110 IU/L) and 79 IU/L (range, 59 to 96 IU/L), respectively. In conclusion, rotavirus commonly causes elevation of liver transaminases.

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