Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Family Practice and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

High serum alkaline phosphatase levels, a study in 181 Thai adult hospitalized patients

Viroj Wiwanitkit

Author Affiliations

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

BMC Family Practice 2001, 2:2  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-2-2

Published: 24 August 2001



Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an important enzyme mainly derived from the liver, bones and in lesser amounts from intestines, placenta, kidneys and leukocytes. An increase in ALP levels in the serum is frequently associated with a variety of diseases. This study was done in order to determine the diseases associated with a high ALP level among Thai adult hospitalized patients.


A review was made of medical records of inpatients with high ALP level above 1000 IU/L in King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thailand from January 1999 to December 1999. Excluded were cases of (a) patients who have bone involvements with malignancies, (b) pediatric patients younger than 15 years old and c) HIV-seropositive patients.


A total of 181 hospitalized patients with eligible medical records were identified (96 males and 85 females, mean age 49.4 ± 16.1 years). Their ALP levels ranging from 1,001 to 3,067 IU/L, these patients were divided into four groups.


High serum ALP levels in hospitalized patients were commonly found in three major groups having obstructive biliary diseases, infiltrative liver disease and sepsis. The study results were in accordance with previous reports in developed countries. Nonetheless, cholangiocarcionoma and some tropical diseases unique to our setting were also detected in these cases. where there was a marked elevation of serum ALP.