Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology IAMM  | About us |  Subscription |  e-Alerts  | Feedback |  Login   
  Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
 Home | Ahead of Print | Current Issue | Archives | Search | Instructions  
Users Online: 1720 Official Publication of Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists 
 ~ Next article
 ~ Previous article 
 ~ Table of Contents
 ~  Similar in PUBMED
 ~  Search Pubmed for
 ~  Search in Google Scholar for
 ~Related articles
 ~  Article in PDF (195 KB)
 ~  Citation Manager
 ~  Access Statistics
 ~  Reader Comments
 ~  Email Alert *
 ~  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 ~  Abstract
 ~  Materials and Me...
 ~  Results
 ~  Discussion
 ~  References
 ~  Article Figures
 ~  Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded346    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 7    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2007  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 351-353

Typhoid myopathy or typhoid hepatitis: A matter of debate

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School of Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
2 Department of Infectious Disease, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran

Date of Submission22-Jan-2007
Date of Acceptance18-May-2007

Correspondence Address:
M Mirsadraee
Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School of Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Mashhad
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.37337

Rights and Permissions

 ~ Abstract 

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the major source of increased serum enzyme level in typhoid fever and to determine the most relevant clinical entity, hepatitis or myopathy, during typhoid fever. Methods: A total of 118 subjects proved to have typhoid fever were evaluated for serum enzymes such as transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatinine kinase (CK); and their relation with each other, clinical symptoms and serum bilirubin were evaluated by regression methods. Results: Hepatomegaly was revealed in 14% of the cases and was correlated with elevated serum biliribin (5.05 13.03 mg/dL in hepatomegalic subjects). Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and CK were elevated in 22 and 60% of the cases, respectively. Correlation coefficient of CK with aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and LDH was R 2 = 0.68 and 0.75, respectively, which were higher than that of ALT with that two enzymes. Conclusions: In conclusion, elevation of serum enzymes in typhoid is mostly of muscular origin.

Keywords: Creatinine kinase, hepatitis, myopathy, transaminase, typhoid fever

How to cite this article:
Mirsadraee M, Shirdel A, Roknee F. Typhoid myopathy or typhoid hepatitis: A matter of debate. Indian J Med Microbiol 2007;25:351-3

How to cite this URL:
Mirsadraee M, Shirdel A, Roknee F. Typhoid myopathy or typhoid hepatitis: A matter of debate. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2007 [cited 2019 Nov 14];25:351-3. Available from:

Typhoid fever is yet claiming many lives in developing countries. [1] Ramachandran described typhoid hepatitis and its histopathology in 1974. [2] The hepatic manifestations of typhoid fall into three categories: i) patients with no evidence of hepatic enlargement or abnormalities in hepatic function; ii) patients with evidence of hepatic involvement, either hepatomegaly or abnormal liver function tests, in whom hepatic involvement was of no great clinical importance and occurred as an incidental feature of the illness; and iii) patients with hepatic manifestations as the dominant feature of the illness and often the mode of presentation of the disease. [1] Elevated serum enzyme level related to hepatic damage was reported in 50-100% of typhoid patients. [3],[4]

Myopathy during the course of typhoid fever is reported increasingly. [5] Both clinical entities, myopathy and hepatitis, are usually diagnosed by serum enzymes such as aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatinine phosphokinase (CK). AST and LDH are elevated in myopathy as well as hepatitis, whereas ALT and CK are relatively specific for liver and muscle, respectively. [6] According to the original definition of typhoid hepatitis, it is possible that an overdiagnosis for typhoid hepatitis occurred and typhoid myopathy was missed.

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the major source of increased serum enzyme level in typhoid fever and to determine the most relevant clinical entity, hepatitis or myopathy, during typhoid fever.

 ~ Materials and Methods Top

The present study was conducted in patients with typhoid fever, who were admitted to Montaserieh University Hospital, Mashhad, Iran. The study design was cross-sectional and prospective. Diagnosis was confirmed by a positive culture of blood and/or bone marrow or fourfold rise in Widal titer. All subjects with proved typhoid fever were included in the present study regardless of their age. Patients with paratyphoid fever were not included in this study. Demographic data and clinical findings of liver and spleen involvement were mentioned in a questionnaire. Laboratory evaluation included serum enzyme activities (AST, ALT, ALP, LDH and CK: all evaluated by Technicon RA-1000), total and direct bilirubin, haematological assessment and urinalysis. The blood sample was drained on the first day of management at the same time with blood culture sample collection. For the determination of liver involvement, the enzymes were correlated with ALT and bilirubin (total and direct) and for the evaluation of muscular enzyme release, serum enzymes were correlated with CK. Due to the ethical considerations, tissue biopsy from liver and muscle was not performed.This study was approved by the Ethical Committee of Islamic Azad University of Mashhad (Iran).

Statistical analysis

Sample size was 110 subjects according to 0.05 alpha risk and 80% potency. Descriptive statistics was performed to generate descriptive data. In addition, correlation between the levels of different serum enzymes was calculated by regression analysis and F -statistics. Comparison of variables were tested by Chi-square and Student's t -test. A two-sided or one-sided (depended on the test) P -value of 0.05 was the criterion for statistical significance. Normal distribution of results was assessed by Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. All analyses were performed by statistical softwares epi info 2000 and spss, version 12.0.

 ~ Results Top

One hundred eighteen patients with an age range of 2-53 years (23.1 12.3) were enrolled in the study. The diagnosis was based on positive blood culture, bone marrow culture and fourfold rise in Widal titer of typhoid fever in 94, 12 and 12 cases, respectively. The men were affected more than the women (M/F = 2/1). Fever and chill were the most prevalent symptoms (100 and 98%, respectively) followed by headache and abdominal pain (77 and 63%, respectively). Hepatomegaly and splenomegaly were found in 16 (14%) and 28 (26%) cases, repectively. There was no significant association between hepatomegaly and the increased level of AST, ALT and ALP [Table - 1] although serum bilirubin level in patients with hepatomegaly was significantly higher than subjects with normal liver (5.05 13.03 mg/dL in hepatomegalic subjects vs. 0.73 0.84 mg/dL, t = 2.28, P < 0.001) [Table - 1]. Summary of descriptive analysis of serum enzyme levels is showed in [Table - 2]. Laboratory tests that point towards liver disease, such as ALT, ALP and bilirubin were not elevated in more than 22% of the cases; but CK, as diagnostic test for muscular disease, was increased in 60% of the cases. AST and LDH that are commonly increased in both conditions were elevated in a majority of the subjects [Table - 2]. Correlation of serum enzyme levels revealed that CK and LDH and also CK and AST showed the greatest association ( F -statistics 40 and 62.4, respectively) [Table - 3]; [Figure - 1], in favour of muscular origin of serum enzymes in typhoid fever. Correlation of AST with ALT and LDH was significant but to a lesser degree ( F -statistics 34.9 and 10, respectively) [Table - 3].

 ~ Discussion Top

Classically, typhoid fever presents with continuous fever, abdominal pain, constipation, rose spot and relative bradycardia; but some variations in clinical findings such as diarrhoea and leukocytosis have been reported. [7] Many organs other than gasterointestinal tract may be involved in typhoid fever. Hepatic involvment is one of the earliest reported complications of typhoid fever, [2] which can cause hepatomegaly, jaundice and coma, but its course with adminstration of treatment is favourable. [8] As abnormal AST and ALT in combination are indicative of a hepatocyte disorder, [9] many investigators used these enzymes for evaluation of hepatic involvement during typhoid fever. The frequency of elevated serum enzyme in two previous reports was 52 and 100%, respectively. [4],[5] But in our series, hepatomegaly was observed in 14% and ALT as the hallmark of liver damage was elevated in 22% of the cases.

As a different point of view, Scheig [6] reported that the prothrombin time and serum albumin level are excellent measures of hepatic protein synthesis ability, whereas the bilirubin level is probably the best marker of overall liver function. Khan et al. , [10] reported jaundice as a main predictor of severe liver injury in 36% of typhoid fever. Jaundice was only present in 5% of our patients but it was significantly associated with hepatomegaly [Table - 1].

The invasion of intestinal lymphatic tissue is suggested to result in a host reaction with hyperplasia of the liver reticuloendothelial system and infiltration of portal spaces as well as the reduction of the microcirculation causing necrosis. [11] Hepatic damage by  Salmonella More Details typhi appears to be mediated by bacterial endotoxin. [12] The presence of intact bacilli has been demonstrated in the hepatic tissue that may be related to presence of Salmonella bacteria in reticoloendothelial system and hyperplasia of Kupffer cells (typhoid nodule), [12] without significant liver injury.

Myopathy is another reported complication of typhoid fever, which can cause severe myoglobinuria and elevated CK. [5],[13] In the present study, the pattern of serum enzymes is more comparable to what is found in myopathy (60%) rather than liver disease (22%), as the association of AST and CK is stronger than AST and liver enzymes [Table - 3].

In conclusion, liver is involved in 14% of typhoid patients manifesting with hepatomegaly and elevated bilirubin. Elevation of serum enzymes in typhoid fever is presumably of a muscular origin, while elevation of liver enzyme is relatively less common.

 ~ References Top

1.Pandey CK, Singh N, Kumar V, Agarwal A, Singh PK. Typhoid, hepatitis E or typhoid and hepatitis E: The cause of fulminant hepatic failure: A diagnostic dilemma. Crit Care Med 2002; 30 :376-8.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
2.Ramachandran S, Godfrey JJ, Perera MV. Typhoid hepatitis. JAMA 1974; 230 :236-40.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  
3.Ozen H, Secmeer G, Kanra G, Ecevit Z, Ceyhan M, Dursun A, et al. Typhoid fever with very high transaminase levels. Turk J Pediatr 1995; 37 :169-71.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Morgenstern R, Hayes PC. The liver in typhoid fever: Always affected, not just a complication. Am J Gastroenterol 1991; 86 :1235-9.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  
5.Mody GM, Gathiram V, Abdulla EA. Severe reversible myopathy due to typhoid. J Trop Med Hyg 1989; 92 :102-3.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  
6.Scheig R. Evaluation of tests used to screen patients with liver disorders. Prim Care 1996; 23 :551-60.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  
7.Hoffman TA, Ruiz CY, Counts GW, Sachs JM, Nitzkin JL. Water borne typhoid fever in Dade county Florida: Clinical and therapeutic evaluation of 105 bacteremic patients. Am J Med 1975; 59 :481-6.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Kamath PS, Jalihal A, Chakraborty A. Differentiation of typhoid fever from fulminant hepatic failure in patients presenting with jaundice and encephalopathy. Mayo Clin Proc 2000; 75 :462-6.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  
9.Herlong HF. Approach to the patient with abnormal liver enzymes. Hosp Pract (Off Ed) 1994; 29 :32-8.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  
10.Khan M, Coovadia YM, Karas JA, Conlley C, Sturm AW. Clinical significance of hepatic dysfunction with jaundice in typhoid fever. Dig Dis Sci 1999; 44 :590-4.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Khosla SN, Singh R, Singh GP, Trehan VK. The spectrum of hepatic injury in enteric fever. Am J Gastroenterol 1988; 83 : 413-6.  Back to cited text no. 11  [PUBMED]  
12.Pramoolsinasp C, Viranuvatti V. Salmonella hepatitis. J Gasteroenterol Hepatol 1998; 13 :745-51.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Kazmi KA, Vahidy F, Rab SM. Reversible proximal myopathy in typhoid fever. J Trop Med Hyg 1990; 93 :197-200.  Back to cited text no. 13  [PUBMED]  


  [Figure - 1]

  [Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3]

This article has been cited by
1 All that glitters is not gold: Elevated liver enzymes do not mean liver disease always
Jeyamani Ramachandran,K. G. Sajith
Indian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Evaluation of synergistic effect of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles and aluminum based adjuvant for improving vaccine efficacy
Vivek Bansal,Manoj Kumar,Manu Dalela,H.G. Brahmne,Harpal Singh
International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2014; 471(1-2): 377
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Protection against experimental salmonellosis by recombinant 49 kDa OMP of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi: biochemical aspects
Jasmine Kaur,Swatantra K. Jain
Biologia. 2013; 68(2): 194
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Refractory hypocalcemia precipitated by dual infection with typhoid fever and hepatitis A in a patient with congenital hypoparathyroidism
Suman S Karanth,Ram Bhat,Anurag Gupta
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2012; 5(8): 667
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Benzo[a]pyrene Exposure Increases Toxic Biomarkers and Morphological Disorders in Mouse Cervix : REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM TOXICITY
Meili Gao, Yongfei Li, Ying Sun, Walayat Shah, Shuiyun Yang, Yili Wang, Jiangang Long
Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. 2011; : no
[VIEW] | [DOI]
6 Hematological and biochemical changes in typhoid fever
Abro, A.H., Abdou, A.M.S., Gangwani, J.L., Ustadi, A.M., Younis, N.J., Hussaini, H.S.
Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. 2009; 25(2): 166-171
7 Meningoencephalitis of hepatitis A in adult man: A case report
Ghorbani, G., Ameli, J., Ghadimi, H.R.
Hepatitis Monthly. 2008; 8(4): 313-316


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04