ISSN - 0973-0958

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Usefulness of N-acetylcysteine as Hepatoprotective Agent in Children Infected by Hepatitis A virus
María de los Ángeles Durazo-Arvizu1, Karina Azpeitia-Cruz1, Roberto Dórame Castillo1, Manuel Alberto Cano-Rangel1, Norberto Sotelo-Cruz2.
1Servicio de Infectología, del Hospital Infantil del Estado de Sonora, Hermosillo Sonora, México,
2Departamento de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo Sonora, México.
Introduction: All forms of viral hepatitis are acute and/or chronic and transmissible. In less developed countries, they are considered a public health problem. The objective of this study was to examine the clinical effects of the oral administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as hepatoprotective agent in pediatric patients infected with hepatitis A virus.
Materials and Methods: Fifty patients were studied. Group A (20 children) received N-acetylcysteine (50mg/kg) orally for 7 days. Group B (30 children) received no medication. The variables studied were: age, hepatitis-related signs and symptoms, fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, choluria, acholia, and undesirable effects of the drug. Laboratory tests were performed at baseline and 8 days later: complete blood count (CBC), glucose, total protein, prothrombin time (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), international normalized ratio (INR), bilirubin, urinalysis, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). The results were analyzed using parametric and non-parametric statistical tests.
Results: In group A, the mean age was 8 years (65% male); in group B, the mean age was 8.3 years (56.6% male). There were no differences in clinical or laboratory manifestations. After 7 days of therapy, ALT (324 + 250.9 vs. 720.2 + 582 IU/L) and AST (134.2 + 108 vs. 502.4 + 518.3) were much lower in the patients who received NAC as compared to the controls (p<0.006 and p<0.003 respectively). No adverse effects were noted in the treated cases.
Conclusion: The oral administration of NAC helps to significantly reduce liver enzymes and is safe.

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