Sunday, September 27, 2015

Liver Enzymes Tell Tale in Hepatitis C Complications

MedPage Today

Liver Enzymes Tell Tale in Hepatitis C Complications
ALT/AST ratio could be useful screen for fatty liver complications

by Mike Bassett
Contributing Writer, MedPage Today

The serum aminotransferase ratio -- commonly used as a measurement of liver health -- is associated with hepatosteatosis in patients with hepatitis C, according to Taiwanese researchers.

According to the study, published online in BMJ Open, patients with a higher ALT/AST ratio had a 1.9-fold greater risk of NAFLD and a 2.44-fold higher risk of a high degree of NAFLD.

There is a high incidence of NAFLD in patients with hepatitis C and that poses a further health risk for patients since it can progress to liver diseases such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular cancer.

The problem, according to Lin and his colleagues, is that NAFLD "silently coexists" with hepatitis C and is only diagnosed incidentally.

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