Background: There are no studies on clinically significant transaminase elevation due to rotavirus gastroenteritis in the literature. Also, there are significant discrepancies among previous studies regarding the prevalence of increased serum transaminase levels in rotavirus infection.
Methods: Patients investigated for rotavirus by stool antigen testing, who were followed between January 2005 and May 2012, were retrospectively enrolled in this study. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to their rotavirus results: rotavirus-positive acute gastroenteritis (RPAG) and rotavirus-negative acute gastroenteritis (RNAG) groups.
Results: A total of 4317 children who presented with acute gastroenteritis were assessed. The study was completed with 642 patients who met the inclusion criteria. In the RPAG group (n = 272), elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was found in 42 (15.4%) patients and elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in 69 (25.4%), while in the RNAG group (n = 370), these numbers were 25 (6.8%) and 44 (11.9%), respectively. The elevated ALT and AST levels were found to be significantly higher in the RPAG group than in the RNAG group (both p < 0.001). The prevalence of elevated transaminase levels was found to be similar with respect to gastroenteritis severity score (p > 0.05). The high serum transaminase levels normalized uneventfully in all patients in the RPAG and RNAG groups during follow-up.
Conclusions: In this study, our results clearly signify a liver influence in rotavirus infections. Therefore, rotavirus infections should be kept in mind when evaluating the aetiology of transaminase elevation in patients with acute gastroenteritis.