Orient Journal of Medicine

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Liver Function Status in some Nigerian Children with Protein Energy Malnutrition

EC Onyeneke, HK Njoya, MN Ebot, GA Uchungo, GE Eriyamremu, EO Alumanah


Objective: To ascertain functional status of the liver in Nigeria Children with Protein energy malnutrition

Materials and Methods: Liver function tests were performed on a total of 88 children with protein energy malnutrition (PEM). These were compared with 22 apparently well-nourished children who served as controls. High performance enzymatic colorimetric commercial kits (RANDOX Laboratories Ltd. UK) were used for the assay. Anthropometry, haematocrit, liver enzymes and bilirubin levels of the patients and controls were measured.

Results: Serum total proteins and albumin fraction were significantly reduced (p < 0.05) in all the types of PEM compared with the controls. There was marked hypoproteinaemia and hypoalbuminaemia in kwashiorkor. Haemoglobin (Hb), packed cell volume (PCV) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels were reduced (p < 0.05) while aspartate transaminase (AST), and alanine transaminase (ALT) were significantly elevated (p < 0.05). Although serum unconjugated bilirubin was reduced in the PEM cases, its value did not differ significantly in marasmic patients.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that abnormalities in serum levels of these parameters occur in any form of PEM and are related to the severity of the condition.

Key Words: Liver Function status in PEM; Nigeria

Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.15(1&2) 2003: 58-63
AJOL African Journals Online