UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Division of Organ Transplantation; Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Digestive System Diseases | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Surgery | Surgical Procedures, Operative


OBJECTIVES: Elevation of transaminases has been used as a marker of hepatic ischemic injury and as a crucial parameter for liver graft assessment. However, analysis of serum transaminases has limitations regarding the quantitative assessment of liver necrosis and is not a reliable predictor of outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all liver transplants (N = 238) performed at the UMass Memorial Medical Center from 2009 to 2013.

RESULTS: Fourteen liver grafts showed high peak aminotransferases alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) at > 1000 U/L. This high aminotransferase group was compared with 224 donors with low transaminase levels (ALT/AST < 1000 U/L). The high transaminase donors had a median peak AST level of 3216 U/L (range, 1823-13?030 U/L) and ALT level of 2677 U/L (range, 812-7080 U/L). The high transaminase donors showed higher levels of lactate dehydrogenase, international normalized ratio, total bilirubin, and gamma-glutamyltransferase compared with low transaminase donors; however, only lactate dehydrogenase results reached statistical significance. None of the grafts from the high transaminase donors showed primary nonfunction. Three-year graft and patient survival rates were similar in both groups (75% vs 80% [P = .48] and 72% vs 82% [P = .33], respectively). In an analysis of the discard rate of livers over a 10-year period in the United States using the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients database, the discard rate of livers with high aminotransferase levels was 69.14% compared with 22.23% for livers with low transaminase levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Liver grafts from donors with high transaminase levels can lead to clinical results that are similar to liver grafts from donors who had lower peak transaminase levels.


Alanine aminotransferase, Aspartate amino - transferase, Hepatic ischemic injury, Outcomes, Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients

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Copyright © Başkent University 2018

DOI of Published Version



Exp Clin Transplant. 2018 Aug 17. doi: 10.6002/ect.2017.0172. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Experimental and clinical transplantation : official journal of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation

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Link to Article in PubMed

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