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Elevated Serum Alanine Aminotransferase Levels in Blood Donors: The Contribution of Hepatitis C Virus

William N. Katkov, MD; Lawrence S. Friedman, MD; Heather Cody, BS; Alison Evans, ScD; George Kuo, PhD; Qui-Lim Choo, PhD; Michael Houghton, PhD; and Jules L. Dienstag, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant Support: Supported in part by the Enzo Danesi Liver Research Fund and the Hepatitis Research Fund of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Katkov was supported by Training Grant T32-DK07191 from the National Institutes of Health, United States Public Health Service.

Requests for Reprints: Jules L. Dienstag, MD, Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Katkov and Dienstag and Ms. Cody: Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114.

Dr. Friedman: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, 1025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Dr. Evans: Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 7701 Burholme Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111.

Drs. Kuo, Choo, and Houghton: Chiron Corporation, 4560 Horton Street, Emeryville, CA 94608.

Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(11):882-884. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-115-11-882
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Before serologic tests for hepatitis C virus (HCV) were developed (1), elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen were introduced as "surrogate" markers to screen donor blood likely to transmit non-A, non-B hepatitis (2-5). In 1983, anticipating the introduction of donor-blood ALT screening, we studied 100 consecutive blood donors with elevated ALT levels (6). In our report describing this analysis (6), we identified potential causes for the ALT elevation in most of these blood donors; however, no apparent cause for the ALT elevations could be found in 22% of donors. Tests for HCV infection


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