What levels of serum transaminases suggest intrahepatic biliary obstruction?

Updated: Oct 16, 2019
  • Author: Jennifer Lynn Bonheur, MD; Chief Editor: Vinay Kumar Kapoor, MBBS, MS, FRCS, FAMS  more...
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Answer

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is predominantly found in the liver, and most elevations are due to intrahepatic disease. Although less specific to the liver, the AST level is also elevated in cases of intrahepatic cholestasis. ALT and AST levels are usually elevated to the same degree in patients with viral hepatitis and those with drug-induced liver damage. In association with alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, and metastatic lesions to the liver, the AST level is elevated more frequently than the ALT level. In general, AST levels are usually higher than ALT levels.


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