Randomized Trial To Evaluate The Clinical Benefits Of Serumα-Glutathione S-Transferase Concentration Monitoring After Liver Transplantation1


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Abstract

Background.An increase in serum α-glutathione S-transferase concentration(GST) has been shown to be a more sensitive and specific marker of hepatocellular damage than equivalent increases in transaminase activities. A randomized clinical trial of 60 liver transplants in 49 patients was carried out to assess the clinical benefits of GST monitoring as a supplementary test to routine liver function tests during the first 3 postoperative months after liver transplantation.Methods.Mortality and morbidity were compared in graft recipients who had their GST reported daily to the ward (reporting group) and graft recipients who did not.Results.The 3-month survival rate was significantly greater in the reporting group (P=0.033) and the risk of graft loss was halved(relative hazard ratio=0.50; P=0.29). The reporting group also had significantly more patients who spent less than 3 weeks in the hospital throughout the follow-up period (P=0.036). In addition, the reporting group experienced a lower frequency of biopsies per graft (P=0.038), less severe rejection(P=0.015), and a lower incidence of infection episodes per graft (P=0.03). GST increased by >50% above the upper limit of the reference range at a median of 1 day before the equivalent change in alanine transaminase in association with allograft rejection in the combined groups (95% confidence interval=1 to 2 days) but was lower on the day of diagnosis of rejection in the reporting group(P=0.02). This is compatible with the earlier diagnosis of rejection in the reporting group.Conclusions.We conclude that the monitoring of GST may improve patient care, reducing both mortality and morbidity.

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