Published: 2018-01-18

Analysis of liver function tests in dengue fever

Denesh Narasimhan, Pasupathi Ponnusamy, M. Sathish


Background: Dengue fever is an exceedingly common tropical infection in India. It can affect the liver with a wide spectrum of manifestations. The aim of the study was to analyse the liver function tests derangement in serologically proven dengue cases.

Methods: Patients who were Dengue IgM positive were included in this study. All the patients underwent liver function tests.

Results: Of 1oo patients, 33% had less than 2-fold increase in ALT levels, 18% had 2-4-fold increase, 20% had 4-10-fold increase and 11% had more than 10-fold increase. Overall 18% had normal values and 82% had values of ALT above normal. With regard to AST 8% had normal values, 26% had less than 2-fold normal, 26% had 2-4-fold increase, 25% had 4-10-fold increase and 15% had greater than 10-fold increase. 92% of patients had values above normal. Bilirubin levels were elevated in 5% of cases. Alkaline phosphatase levels were elevated in 25% of cases; serum globulins were increased in 9% of cases. Serum proteins were low in 43% of cases and serum albumin was low in 31% of cases.

Conclusions: The spectrum of hepatic involvement in dengue fever can vary from asymptomatic biochemical involvement to severe acute liver cell injury. Hyperbilirubinemia may also be observed. Low albumin levels may be present and may be a marker of the critical phase of the disease.


ALT, AST, Dengue fever, Hyperbilirubinemia

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