1. Melendez-Rosado, Jose MD
  2. Alsaad, Ali MBChB
  3. Stancampiano, Fernando F. MD
  4. Palmer, William C. MD


Abnormal liver enzymes are frequently encountered in primary care offices and hospitals and may be caused by a wide variety of conditions, from mild and nonspecific to well-defined and life-threatening. Terms such as "abnormal liver chemistries" or "abnormal liver enzymes," also referred to as transaminitis, should be reserved to describe inflammatory processes characterized by elevated alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase. Although interchangeably used with abnormal liver enzymes, abnormal liver function tests specifically denote a loss of synthetic functions usually evaluated by serum albumin and prothrombin time. We discuss the entities that most commonly cause abnormal liver enzymes, specific patterns of enzyme abnormalities, diagnostic modalities, and the clinical scenarios that warrant referral to a hepatologist.