• In any disturbance of liver function, whether due to acute infection or to chronic liver disease, where significant areas of hepatic cells undergo necrosis, elevations of the serum transaminase level may be expected. As the liver parenchyma heals and the liver cells regenerate, normal levels are obtained. Normal serum transaminase values have been found to range from 5 to 40 units; with Laennec's cirrhosis the levels were from 13 to 286 units, in biliary cirrhosis from 57 to 330 units, and with viral hepatitis from 540 to 1,890 units of activity. While there has been no constant correlation with other usual liver-function tests, it appears that any process causing death of enough liver cells should increase the serum transaminase activity.
Molander DW, Sheppard E, Payne MA. SERUM TRANSAMINASE IN LIVER DISEASE. JAMA. 1957;163(16):1461-1465. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970510027006