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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-38

Liver Function Tests Profile in Cancer Patients on Cytotoxic Chemotherapy: A preliminary report

1 Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S A Akuyam
Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims and objectives: To assess liver function in Nigerian cancer patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy, with a view to contributing to the existing literature and possibly making recommendations for better management of the affected patients in Nigerian hospitals. Patients and methods: Serum levels of total bilirubin (TB), alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB) and De Ritis ratio (AST/ALT) were determined in 50 cancer patients both before and after chemotherapy and 50 age- and sex-matched control individuals. The data obtained were analysed using Microsoft Office Excel 2003. Two-tailed student's t- test for matched samples and Pearson's linear correlation statistical methods were employed for the analyses. Results: The levels of serum ALT, AST, ALP and TB, ALB, TP and AST/ALT were significantly higher in cancer patients than in controls both before and after chemotherapy, with more pronounced elevations after chemotherapy. There were positive and significant correlations between cycles of chemotherapy and the serum liver function tests. Conclusion: The findings from the present study conclude that there is slight difference when compared to controls in liver function test profile in cancer patients even before commencement of chemotherapy with a worsening of the profile of patients after chemotherapy. This difference in liver function also increases with the cycles of chemotherapy.

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