Kadir Demir, Filiz Akyuz, Sadakat Ozdil, Nevzat Aksoy, Kaymakoglu Kaymakoglu, Sule Poturoglu, Ümit Akyüz, Fatih Besisik, Gungor Boztas, Zeynel Mungan, Ugur Cevikbas, Yýlmaz Cakaloglu, Atilla Okten
Background and study aims: Increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels with negative hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA by hybridization is a common problem in Turkey where is a mild endemic region. We aimed to evaluate the causes of elevated ALT levels in patients who are negative for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and HBV DNA (by hybridization) for at least 6 months. Patients-methods: Forty-nine patients were enrolled in this study. Histological changes [histological activity index (HAI), and the extent of fibrosis] were assessed according to the Knodell scoring system and steatosis were graded by Brunt's classification for NAFLD in all patients. Results: A mean age of the patients was 34.9 ± 12.1 years (16-70). 43 (87.8%) of them were male. Mean ALT level was 95 ± 39.7 IU/L (50- 258). Hyperglycemia (>100 mg/dL) and hyperlipidemia were found in 12 and 24 patients, respectively. Hepatic steatosis (7 patients grade 1; 5 patients grade 2; and 7 patients grade 3), ground-glass hepatocyte, chronic hepatitis, and Wilson disease were found in liver biopsy in 38.8%, 32.6%, 26.6%, 2%, respectively. Mean HAI was 6.5 ± 3.6 (4-12) in chronic hepatitis. Seven patients (53.9%) were in stage 1 and 2 while 6 patients (46.1%) were in stage 3 and 4. Conclusions: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of elevated ALT levels in HBeAg negative/HBV DNA negative patients. Chronic hepatitis B was found in 26.6% of these patients.
Key words. HBeAg negative chronic hepatitis B, steatosis