In this study, physicians from the United States analyzed the frequency of normal liver function tests (bilirubin, ALP, ALT, and AST) in patients with biliary acute pancreatitis.
The team assessed data collected for other ongoing studies in the last 20 years.
They evaluated serum total bilirubin, AST, ALT, and ALP levels in 269 patients with biliary acute pancteatitis.
The biliary etiology was confirmed on the basis of gallstones documented by transabdominal US or at surgery.
|Collectively the incidence of normal values was 10%.|
|Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology|
The physicians found normal bilirubin, AST, ALT, and ALP levels in 15%, 12%, 11%, and 26% of cases of acute biliary pancreatitis, respectively.
When they assessed all 4 laboratory tests collectively, the incidence of normal values was 10%.
The team also identified an ALT elevation of less than 3 times the upper range of normal in 17% of cases.
Dr Kush Dholakia's team concluded, "Almost 15 to 20% of patients with biliary acute pancreatitis manifest with normal LFTs".
"The clinician should not exclude a biliary etiology solely on the basis of normal LFTs".