Elevated Liver Enzymes in Asymptomatic Patients - What Should I Do?

Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)


Elevated liver enzymes are a common scenario encountered by physicians in clinical practice. For many physicians, however, evaluation of such a problem in patients presenting with no symptoms can be challenging. Evidence supporting a standardized approach to evaluation is lacking. Although alterations of liver enzymes could be a normal physiological phenomenon in certain cases, it may also reflect potential liver injury in others, necessitating its further assessment and management. In this article, we provide a guide to primary care clinicians to interpret abnormal elevation of liver enzymes in asymptomatic patients using a step-wise algorithm. Adopting a schematic approach that classifies enzyme alterations on the basis of pattern (hepatocellular, cholestatic and isolated hyperbilirubinemia), we review an approach to abnormal alteration of liver enzymes within each section, the most common causes of enzyme alteration, and suggest initial investigations.

Publication (Name of Journal)

J Clin Transl Hepatol .