Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 51–59 | Cite as

Serum transaminases concentrations in obese children and adolescents

  • E. M. González-Gil
  • G. Bueno-Lozano
  • O. Bueno-Lozano
  • L. A. MorenoEmail author
  • L. Cuadrón-Andres
  • P. Huerta-Blas
  • J. M. Garagorri
  • M. Bueno


The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between liver transaminase levels and metabolic syndrome (MS) features in obese children and adolescents. A total of 132 children and adolescents (73 males and 59 females) aged 8–16, participated in the study. All were studied at the department of Paediatrics, University Hospital of Zaragoza (Spain). Inclusion criteria were the existence of obesity as defined by body mass index (BMI) according to Cole cut-off values (when BMI was higher than the age and sex specific equivalent to 30 kg/m2). The definition of metabolic syndrome was according to the International Diabetes Federation criteria. Weight (kg), height (cm), waist circumference (cm), blood pressure and BMI were measured. Laboratory determinations after overnight fasting included: transaminases (ALT, AST, GGT), fasting glucose, insulin, triglycerides and HDL-C. The MS was found in 21.6% of the obese children and adolescents and the prevalence was higher in males (25.9%) than in females (15.9%). Serum transaminases (ALT, AST and GGT) mean concentrations were higher in males than in females, and decreased during pubertal development. The obese children and adolescents with the MS did not show higher transaminases concentrations when compared with those without the MS. Some MS manifestations (mainly waist circumference) showed a correlation with ALT, although all transaminases values were normal according to adult references. Liver transaminases, a surrogate marker of NAFLD, did not show an early and consistent manifestation of abnormalities in the obese children and adolescents studied. In order to define the presence of the disease, it would be necessary to obtain aminotransferase reference standards for children and adolescents, considering pubertal stage and gender.

Key words

Transaminases Children Obesity Metabolic syndrome 

Concentraciones séricas de transaminasas en niños y adolescentes obesos


Se valora en el estudio la concentración de transaminasas en niños y adolescentes obesos y se investiga la relación entre enzimas hepáticas y marcadores de síndrome metabólico (SM). Un total de 132 niños y adolescentes (73 chicos y 59 chicas), de 8–16 años, participaron en el estudio. El criterio de inclusión fue la existencia de obesidad definida mediante el índice de masa corporal (IMC) de acuerdo con los valores de Coleet al. (IMC mayor que el equivalente a 30 kg/m2 para una edad y sexo específico). Para definir el síndrome metabólico (MS), se eligieron los criterios de la Federación Internacional de Diabetes. Se realizaron medidas del peso (Kg), altura (cm), perímetro de la cintura y tensión arterial y determinaciones de laboratorio en ayunas de las transaminasas (ALT, AST, GGT), glucosa, insulina, triglicéridos y HDL-C. Presentaron síndrome metabólico el 21,6% de los niños y adolescentes obesos y la prevalencia fue mayor en chicos (25,9%) que en chicas (15,9%). Los componentes más frecuentes del síndrome metabólico fueron la obesidad abdominal (exceso de circunferencia de cintura, 93%) y la tensión arterial elevada (34,3%). Los valores medios de las concentraciones séricas de transaminasas (ALT, AST, GGT) fueron mayores en chicos que en chicas, y disminuyeron según el desarrollo puberal. Los niños y adolescentes obesos con síndrome metabólico no presentaron mayores concentraciones de transaminasas en comparación con los que no tenían síndrome metabólico. Algunas manifestaciones de SM (en particular el perímetro de la cintura) se asociaron con ALT, aunque los valores de transaminasas fueron normales según las referencias usadas para adultos. En los niños estudiados, las transaminasas, un marcador secundario de hígado graso no-alcohólico (NAFLD), no fueron una manifestación temprana y consistente de estas anomalías. Para definir la presencia de la enfermedad, sería necesario obtener valores de referencia de transaminasas para niños y adolescentes, considerando el estadío puberal y el sexo.

Palabras clave

Transaminasas Niños Obesidad Síndrome metabólico 


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Copyright information

© Universidad de Navarra 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. González-Gil
    • 1
  • G. Bueno-Lozano
    • 2
  • O. Bueno-Lozano
    • 2
  • L. A. Moreno
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • L. Cuadrón-Andres
    • 2
  • P. Huerta-Blas
    • 2
  • J. M. Garagorri
    • 2
  • M. Bueno
    • 2
  1. 1.Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development (GENUD) research groupUniversity of ZaragozSpain
  2. 2.Paediatric DepartmentUniversity Clinical Hospital “Lozano Blesa”Spain
  3. 3.School of Health SciencesUniversity of ZaragozaSpain

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