SERUM transaminase levels have been reported to be elevated in pancreatitis, but the elevations are usually seen in icteric patients and probably reflect liver and biliary disease. The enzymes, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), are found in various tissues. Wroblewski and LaDue1 established the levels of transaminase activity in homogenates of different human tissues and observed a level of concentration in the pancreas equal to 20% of that found in the liver.
Diseases involving tissue containing these enzymes are thought to cause elevation of serum levels. On this basis, Foulk and Fleisher2 studied 32 patients during episodes of pancreatitis. Transaminase activity was increased in 22 of these patients. They concluded, however, that increased transaminase activity is not entirely dependent on pancreatic necrosis, but related to increased intrabiliary pressure and associated obstruction of the biliary tract. Weinstein et al3 further emphasized the
Lukash WM, Bishop RP, Nielsen OF. Transaminase Levels in Acute Pancreatitis and After Secretin Stimulation: Preliminary Study. JAMA. 1966;197(11):927–929. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110110151045
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