Healthy ranges of serum alanine aminotransferase levels in Iranian blood donors

Mehdi Mohammadnejad, Akram Pourshams, AmirAli Sohrabpour, Reza Malekzadeh, MohammadReza Akbari, Ashraf Mohammadkhani, Afsaneh Rajabiani, Farhad Zamani, AmirHosein Faghihi, Ali AliAskari


AIM: The healthy ranges for serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels are less well studied. The aim of this study was to define the upper limit of normal (ULN) for serum ALT levels, and to assess factors associated with serum ALT activity in apparently healthy blood donors.

METHODS: A total of 1939 blood donors were included. ALT measurements were performed for all cases using the same laboratory method. Healthy ranges for ALT levels were computed from the population at lowest risk for liver disease. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate associations between clinical factors and ALT levels.

RESULTS: Serum ALT activity was independently associated with body mass index (BMI) and male gender, but not associated with age. Association of ALT with BMI was more prominent in males than in females. Upper limit of normal for non-overweight women (BMI of less than 25) was 34 U/L, and for non-overweight men was 40 U/L.

CONCLUSION: Serum ALT is strongly associated with sex and BMI. The normal range of ALT should be defined for male and female separately.  


Alanine aminotransferase; Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; Obesity

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