Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Forty two cases of confirmed hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with available liver histology were studied. Most patients, 23 of 42 (55%) had abnormal liver function tests but 19 of 42 (45%) had persistently normal liver transaminases (mean aspartate transaminase (AST) 24.1 IU/l, mean follow up 10 months). Histological examinations in the group with normal AST activities were normal in two of 19 (11%), showed non-specific reactive hepatitis in eight of 19 (42%), chronic persistent hepatitis in six of 19 (31%), and chronic active hepatitis in three of 19 (16%). Twenty three of 42 (55%) had either persistently or temporary raised liver transaminases (mean AST 96.2 IU/l, mean follow up 16 months). Histological examinations in this second group with abnormal liver biochemistry showed reactive hepatitis in five of 23 (22%), chronic persistent hepatitis in six of 23 (26%), chronic active hepatitis in 10 of 23 (43%), and cirrhosis in two (9%). Average alcohol intake was significantly higher in the group within abnormal liver function (17.8 v 6.4 units, p = 0.01). Although serious pathology was more frequent in the abnormal transaminase group, significant liver pathology (chronic persistent hepatitis or chronic active hepatitis) was found in nine of 19 (47%) of cases with repeatedly normal transaminases. Liver biopsy is advised in all cases of chronic hepatitis C infection to accurately assess both the degree of fibrosis and the current activity of the disease.


Journal article



Publication Date





274 - 278


Adult, Alcohol Drinking, Aspartate Aminotransferases, Blood Donors, Female, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis, Chronic, Humans, Liver, Liver Function Tests, Male, Middle Aged