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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 17, No. 1, 2017, pp. 270-277
Bioline Code: hs17033
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2017, pp. 270-277

 en Sonographic assessment of petroleum-induced hepatotoxicity in Nigerians: does biochemical assessment underestimate liver damage?
Anakwue, Angel-Mary; Anakwue, Raphael; Okeji, Mark; Idigo, Felicitas; Agwu, Kenneth & Nwogu, Uloma


Background: Exposure to petroleum products has been shown to have significant adverse effects on the liver which can manifest either as morphological or physiological changes.
Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the effects of chronic exposure to some petroleum products on the liver of exposed workers using sonography and to determine whether biochemical assessments underestimated hepatotoxicity.
Methods: Abdominal ultrasound was performed on 415 exposed workers in order to evaluate liver echogenicity and size. Also, biochemical assessment of the liver was done to evaluate its function
Results: Statistically significant increase in the liver parenchymal echogenicity and the liver size was seen in the exposed workers compared with control (p ≤ 0.05). These increased as the exposure duration increased. It was also noted that out of 16.87% (N=70) exposed workers with abnormal liver echopattern, only 2.65% (N=11) had alanine aminotransferase above the reference range.
Conclusion: The study revealed evidence of ultrasound detectable hepatotoxicity among the exposed subjects. Sonography appeared to detect petroleum products-induced hepatic toxicity more than biochemical assays suggesting that biochemical assessment may have underestimated toxicity.

Petroleum Products; Exposure; Hepatotoxicity; Sonography; Biochemical assessment; Nigeria

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