N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) genotype as a risk factor for development of drug-induced liver injury relating to antituberculosis drug treatment in a mixed-ethnicity patient group

Ching-Soon Ng, Abul Hasnat, Abdullah Al Maruf, Maizbha Uddin Ahmed, Munir Pirmohamed, Christopher P Day, Guruprasad P Aithal, Ann K Daly
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2014, 70 (9): 1079-86

PURPOSE: This study aims to assess whether NAT2 genotype affects susceptibility to moderate to severe liver injury in patients undergoing drug treatment for tuberculosis with isoniazid-containing regimens.

METHODS: Twenty-six patients of European or South Asian ethnicity, who had suffered liver injury during treatment with isoniazid-containing drug regimens and 101 ethnically matched controls were genotyped for the NAT2*5, NAT2*6, and NAT2*7 alleles. Genotyping for additional polymorphisms in the NAT gene region was also performed on 20 of the 26 cases. NAT2 genotype frequency between cases and controls was compared.

RESULTS: NAT2 genotypes predicting a slow acetylator phenotype were found to be associated with an increased risk of isoniazid-related liver injury (odds ratio (OR) = 4.25 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.36-13.22); p = 0.012) with 85% of the cases being slow acetylators compared with 56% of the controls. There was no evidence for an increased risk for the slow acetylator genotype in patients with the most severe cases of liver injury, who underwent liver transplantation.

CONCLUSIONS: The NAT2 slow acetylator genotype appears to be a significant risk factor for moderate and severe drug- induced liver injury. However, the overall effect size is modest and generally in line with effects described previously for this genotype in milder drug-induced liver injury. Additional genetic risk factors may also contribute.

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