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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-19

Liver function test profile of Nigerian children with sickle cell anaemia in steady state


1 Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Shehu A Akuyam
Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: Macarthur Foundation,, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0331-8540.130157

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Background and Objective: Several studies across the world have revealed that liver dysfunction is a common finding in children with sickle cell anaemia (SCA). The situation in hospitals in Nigeria is not known. The few studies carried out in Nigeria were on adult subjects. The overall objective of the study was to evaluate the liver function test (LFT) profile of children with SCA, aged 1-14 years, with a view to improve the routine investigation and management of this group of subjects. Materials and Methods: LFT profile of 60 SCA subjects and 60 age- and sex-matched apparently healthy subjects (controls) was evaluated in the present study in the departments of chemical pathology and paediatrics of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, northern region of Nigeria. Results: The results of serum LFTs of the SCA subjects and age- and sex-matched control subjects showed that the concentrations of serum total bilirubin (TB), conjugated bilirubin (CB), unconjugated bilirubin (UCB), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and aspartate transaminase/alanine transaminase (AST/ALT) ratio were significantly higher (P < 0.001), while the levels of total protein (TP) were significantly lower (P < 0.001) in SCA subjects compared with the control subjects. Serum levels of ALT, AST and albumin (ALB) among SCA and control subjects were not statistically different (P > 0.05). The results of serum LFTs also showed that there were no significant age differences (P > 0.05) in both SCA subjects and control subjects. There were no correlations between all the LFT analytes and the frequency of crisis (FOC) among SCA subjects (P > 0.05). Conclusion: It could be concluded from the findings of the present study that there are mild LFT abnormalities in children with SCA even in steady state, and that the extent of some of the abnormalities decreases with advancing age of the subjects.


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