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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Dermatology Online Journal

Volume 23, Issue 5, May 2017, Article number 12.

The published version is available here. Copyright © Webster et al.


Current laboratory monitoring may not be optimal. A retrospective chart review was performed on thelaboratory results of 246 patients who were treated with isotretinoin for acne over a 9-year period. Tests obtained were CBC, lipid panel, AST, ALT, CK, GGT,and C-reactive protein. Thirty-five patients had an elevated AST and 35 of these had an elevated CK; 32 had an elevated ALT and 11 of these had an elevated CK. Thirteen patients had an elevated GGT; in 5 this was the only abnormality, whereas 8 had a GGT elevation accompanied by an elevated AST or ALT. Two had an elevated GGT and an elevated CK with normal AST and ALT. Fifty-two patients had a single episode of elevated CK, of which 22 were female. However, 57 had multiple CK elevations and only one was female. Thirty-five patients had CK elevationsnormal; 38 had levels between 2 and 3 times normal, 18 had levels between 3 and 4 times normal, and 18 had levels greater than 4 times normal. We suggest that ALT and AST are not useful for monitoring isotretinoin therapy and that GGT and CK may be of greater value in managing patients.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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