Author(s): Vanderlinde RE
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Abstract In vitro supplementation with the active form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal-phosphate (PLP), increases measurements of both serum aminotransferase enzymes, L-aspartate: 2-oxoglutarate amino transferase, EC 220.127.116.11 (AST) and L-alanine: 2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase, EC 18.104.22.168 (ALT). The plasma PLP level in normal individuals clearly relates inversely to the degree of stimulation of serum AST and ALT. PLP added in vitro increases the reference values but does not decrease the biological variability of AST measurements in healthy individuals. Since B6 deficiency is observed in alcoholics, in some significant percentage of hospitalized patients and in apparently healthy people over age 64, these individuals will show PLP stimulation of their serum amino-transferase enzymes. Patients with liver disease show lesser activation with PLP of AST activity but not ALT activity than patients with heart disease (myocardial infarction). AST isoenzyme measurements in the form of a mitochondrial AST/total AST ratio may discriminate alcoholic hepatitis from all other hepatic diseases. In renal dialysis patients including transplant patients, it may be desirable to measure the aminotransferases with added PLP in order to reflect better the cytolytic state of the liver. While unconfirmed studies suggest the combination of PLP activation and AST isoenzyme measurements may aid in the diagnosis of hepatoma, PLP activation per se does not provide clear cut improved diagnostic value of AST and ALT in liver diseases. However, in view of PLP incorporation into the IFCC reference methods for AST and ALT, and the National Reference System for the Clinical Laboratory, it is recommended that PLP be included in all AST and ALT measurements.
This article was published in Ann Clin Lab Sci
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access