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Emergency Medical Minute


Mar 28, 2022

Contributor: Sam Killian, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Transaminitis refers to the elevation of transaminases, enzymes of the liver (AST and ALT)
  • Elevation of ALT is relatively specific to the liver, but AST is found in more organs than the liver including the muscle
  • If AST is significantly greater than ALT, consider a musculoskeletal origin such as rhabdomyolysis
  • Transaminitis is not always a liver specific issue


Lala V, Goyal A, Minter DA. Liver Function Tests. [Updated 2021 Aug 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

Lim AK. Abnormal liver function tests associated with severe rhabdomyolysis. World J Gastroenterol. 2020;26(10):1020-1028. doi:10.3748/wjg.v26.i10.1020

Jo KM, Heo NY, Park SH, et al. Serum Aminotransferase Level in Rhabdomyolysis according to Concurrent Liver Disease. Korean J Gastroenterol. 2019;74(4):205-211. doi:10.4166/kjg.2019.74.4.205

Summarized by John Spartz, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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