How are serum transaminases characterized in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infectious mononucleosis (mono), and which mononucleosislike illnesses may be indicated by other findings?

Updated: Sep 20, 2018
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

An early, transient, mild increase in serum transaminases is characteristic of EBV infectious mononucleosis. High elevation of the serum transaminases should suggest viral or drug-induced hepatitis. The mild elevations of serum transaminases that occur in infectious mononucleosis are useful diagnostic tests before the heterophile becomes positive. Mild-to-moderate elevations of the serum transaminases that persist over months in a patient with a mononucleosislike illness should suggest CMV rather than EBV infectious mononucleosis.


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