Table of Contents
Hepatitis Research and Treatment
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 760943, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/760943
Research Article

Histological and Clinical Characteristics of Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C and Persistently Normal Alanine Aminotransferase Levels

1Department of Medicine, Section of Hepatology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 840 South Wood Street, Suite 130, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
2Department of Pathology (MC847), University of Illinois at Chicago, 840 South Wood Street, Suite 130, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 4 March 2014; Revised 23 April 2014; Accepted 23 April 2014; Published 7 May 2014

Academic Editor: Annarosa Floreani

Copyright © 2014 Bakht Roshan and Grace Guzman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and persistently normal alanine aminotransferase (PNALT) are generally described to have mild liver disease. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and histological features in HCV-infected patients with PNALT and elevated ALT. Patients presenting to the University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago, who had biopsy proven HCV, an ALT measurement at the time of liver biopsy, at least one additional ALT measurement over the next 12 months, and liver biopsy slides available for review were identified. PNALT was defined as ALT ≤ 30 on at least 2 different occasions over 12 months. Of 1200 patients with HCV, 243 met the study criteria. 13% (32/243) of patients had PNALT while 87% (211/243) had elevated ALT. Significantly more patients with PNALT had advanced fibrosis (F3 and F4) compared to those with elevated ALT ( ). There was no significant difference in the histology activity index score as well as mean inflammatory score between the two groups. In conclusion, in a well-characterized cohort of patients at a tertiary medical center, PNALT did not distinguish patients with mild liver disease.