What Causes Transaminitis

What Causes Transaminitis?

Transaminitis is inflammation of the kidneys caused by a virus called Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). EBV infection can occur in any individual who has been exposed to the virus or its symptoms may not appear until several years after exposure. A person with EBV infection cannot produce antibodies against it. However, they are susceptible to other types of viruses which cause similar symptoms. These include hepatitis B, C and HIV/AIDS. EBV infections are most commonly acquired through contact with infected blood or body fluids such as saliva, urine, sweat and tears. Other sources of infection include sharing needles for drug abuse or needle sticks from patients who have received inappropriate medical care. EBV is spread when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or speaks while another person has direct contact with their mouth, nose or eyes. Symptoms usually begin within a few days of exposure but can develop up to 10 years later. The disease progresses rapidly and is fatal if left untreated.

The first symptom of EBV infection is fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms will subside quickly with rest and treatment. If these symptoms persist or worsen, seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment consists of supportive measures such as fluid replacement therapy and medications to prevent organ damage. If the patient is young or the disease is caught early enough, the patient can recover within a few weeks.

Patients with a weakened immune system, such as patients with AIDS or cancer patients on chemotherapy, are more susceptible to organ damage caused by the virus. These patients will need to undergo treatment to prevent further damage to their organs. This involves replacing damaged tissue and organs with artificial ones.

Treatment usually requires several months of hospitalization and isn’t always successful.

If you have been recently exposed to the virus or have not been immunized against it, contact your physician immediately. The doctor can perform several blood tests to confirm the presence of the virus and begin treatment immediately.

There is no vaccine currently available to prevent EBV infection. The best treatment is prevention. Wear protective clothing when working with blood or bodily fluids, avoid contact with infected people and thoroughly wash any area exposed to infected blood or body fluids.

It is also important to avoid sharing needles for drug abuse or receiving medical care from a non-medical professional.


Herpes is a very common disease, with at least half of the population having been infected with the virus by the age of 50. Most carriers are asymptomatic and are unaware they are infected. The virus is spread through contact with infected saliva or genital fluids.

Herpes can be spread even when an individual has no symptoms, neither pain nor other sensations. The initial infection will cause flu-like symptoms which last for several days. There is no specific treatment for the virus itself. Most patients take over-the-counter pain medication for acute attacks. Antiviral medications can shorten the life of the infection and speed up recovery time. It is important to get adequate rest, drink fluids and avoid unnecessary activity during an attack.


Frequent attacks can lead to other complications such as dehydration, malnutrition and kidney failure. Severe attacks can lead to death.


The virus is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or through shared objects such as towels or utensils. Because the virus remains in a person’s saliva even during periods of no symptoms, it is important for an infected person to avoid contact with others from the time they become infected until all of their symptoms have disappeared.


There are a number of antiviral drugs which can be taken to shorten the duration and decrease the intensity of an attack. Most patients, however, find that over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen is more than adequate to manage their symptoms.

Origin and History

Herpes is believed to have first appeared on planet Earth shortly after the first human civilizations formed. The virus was first identified in ancient Egypt, where mummified remains show telltale signs of infection. In those days, scribes were the only professional writers.

In order to take their profession seriously, scribes would make an oath not to have any physical contact with any women. This vow of celibacy, however, did not extend to men. It is believed that the spread of the virus can be traced back to these early scribes and their favourite boys.


Antiviral drugs can reduce the symptoms of an attack and make them less severe. Most patients, however, find that over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) is more than adequate to manage their symptoms.

Origin and History

The medical community is still baffled by the sudden rash of symptoms in dozens of high school and college students in the Midwest. While it is possible that the students all attended the same concert or ate at the same restaurant, public health officials do not believe this is the case.


There is no specific treatment for this syndrome. Most patients are put on a regimen of strong pain medication and advised to rest until all symptoms have passed. Severe cases may require hospitalization.

Origin and History

This is a relatively new syndrome.

Sources & references used in this article:

Transaminitis after pancreatic islet transplantation by NR Barshes, TC Lee, SE Goodpastor… – Journal of the American …, 2005 – Elsevier

Glutathione S‐transferase mu genotype (GSTM1* 0) in Alzheimer’s patients with tacrine transaminitis. by VJ Green, M Pirmohamed… – British journal of …, 1995 – Wiley Online Library

Evaluation of cases of severe statin-related transaminitis within a large health maintenance organization by EC Charles, KL Olson, BG Sandhoff… – The American journal of …, 2005 – Elsevier

Role of polymerase chain reaction and liver biopsy in the evaluation of patients with asymptomatic transaminitis: implications in diagnostic approach by K Madan, Y Batra, SK Panda… – Journal of …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library

No association between tacrine transaminitis and the glutathione transferase θ genotype in patients with Alzheimer’s disease by M De Sousa, M Pirmohamed… – Pharmacogenetics …, 1998 – journals.lww.com

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis-like pattern in liver biopsy of rheumatoid arthritis patients with persistent transaminitis during low-dose methotrexate treatment by S Mori, N Arima, M Ito, S Fujiyama, Y Kamo, Y Ueki – PloS one, 2018 – journals.plos.org

Side effects of statins: hepatitis versus “transaminitis”—myositis versus “CPKitis” by CA Dujovne – American Journal of Cardiology, 2002 – ajconline.org