Impaired liver function tests in patients treated with antithymocyte globulin : implication for liver transplantation Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) is traditionally used as a conventional immunosuppression agent in various pathological states including severe aplastic anaemia (SAA), graft versus host disease (GVHD), and for the prevention and treatment of graft rejection and GVHD post bone marrow and liver transplantation. We reviewed the liver functions of 16 haematological patients with no previous liver disorders who received ATG as part of their pre-bone marrow transplantation (BMT) conditioning regimen, and the liver function tests of five SAA patients who received ATG as part of their treatment. Liver functions were evaluated at day -1 pre-, and days +3 and +10 post-ATG treatment. All patients had normal liver functions before treatment. In the haematological patients, the mean serum lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) levels increased from 408.7 +/- 37.7 U/l pre-treatment to 1394.4 +/- 488.7 U/l 3 days post-treatment (n = 16; p < 0.029), and then declined to 561.4 +/- 61.3 U/l 10 days post-treatment (n = 16; p < 0.043). The mean alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels increased from 51.9 +/- 11.3 U to 184.6 +/- 74.6 U (n = 16; p < 0.036), and then declined to 121.9 +/- 61.3 U (n = 16; NS). The mean aspartate amino transferase (AST) levels increased from 31.2 + 5.7 U to 152.0 +/- 67.0 U (n = 16; p < 0.44) and then declined to 46.0 +/- 14 (n = 16; p < 0.049). The mean tau-glutamyltransferase (GTP) levels increased from 93.0 +/- 34 to 188.0 +/- 36 (n = 16; p < 0.02), and were 168.0 +/- 37.0 at day +10 (n = 16; NS). The mean bilirubin levels increased from 18.0 +/- 1.9 microM l(-1) to 22.7 +/- 2.8 (n = 16); NS), at day +3 and to 31.9 +/- 6.9 at day +10 (n = 16; NS). In contrast, no significant changes in liver function tests were demonstrated in the SAA patients treated with ATG. The possible pathophysiologic mechanisms and the clinical implications for liver transplantation are discussed.

publication date

  • January 1, 1997