Abstract Serum adenosine deaminase (ADA) activity was assayed along with other liver function indices in viral hepatitis patients at ESUT Teaching Hospital Enugu and Iyienu Mission Hospital Ogidi, between April and October 2015. Sixty (60) patients, 32 males and 28 females were divided into three groups with regards to their serotypes of hepatitis virus infections viz: HBV group (n=37), HCV group (n=17), and HBV/HCV co-infection group (n=6). Sixty (60) healthy subjects, 34 males and 26 females, served as the control group. Clinical diagnosis of patients was confirmed by rapid immuno-chromatographic tests. All subjects were HIV seronegative. Serum ADA activity, other liver enzymes, bilirubin and proteins were assayed by colorimetric methods. Results showed that serum ADA activity in patients with HBV (22.47 ± 11.17U/L) and those with HCV (22.14 ± 8.55U/L) were significantly higher (p<0.05) than the values of serum ADA in the control group (10.99 ± 4.69U/L). The Serum activity of AST (18.68 ± 11.87U/L), ALT (21.03 ± 12.38U/L), ALP (85.22 ± 39.13U/L) and TBIL (3.34 ± 4.78μmol/l) in patients with HBV and the mean value of AST (20.84 ± 13.36U/L), ALT (22.29 ± 11.92U/L), ALP (86.76 ± 67.03U/L), TBIL (2.09 ± 1.34μmol/l) in those with HCV were significantly higher (p<0.05) than the corresponding values in the control group; AST (9.35 ± 5.27U/L), ALT (5.50 ± 3.25U/L), ALP (43.65 ± 20.92U/L), TBIL (1.48 ± 1.05μmol/l). The CBIL level in patients with HBV (1.20 ± 3.62μmol/l) and those with HCV (0.53 ± 0.47μmol/l) were not significant (p>0.05) when compared to the control group (0.27 ± 0.40μmol/l). There was no significant difference in ADA activity between patients with HBV, HCV, and HBV/HCV co-infection (p>0.05). A positive correlation was observed between serum ADA activity and those of AST, ALT, TBIL, and CBIL (p<0.05) in viral hepatitis infection. We concluded from this study that increase in serum ADA activity corresponding to those of ALT, AST, and Bilirubin is an approximate index for the diagnosis of hepatitis infection, which is the same in patients infected with HBV, HCV or both, and may be a valuable index in diagnosis and monitoring of patients with viral hepatitis.
Keywords: Liver, Hepatitis, detoxification, enzyme, Adenosine