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What Are the Causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes & Petechiae?

author image Norene Anderson
Norene Anderson has been a writer since 2003. She is also a registered nurse with expertise in a wide range of medical conditions and treatments. Anderson received her associate degree in nursing from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.
What Are the Causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes & Petechiae?
A woman is holding a thermometer. Photo Credit: SvitlanaMartyn/iStock/Getty Images

Elevated liver enzymes are the result of inflamed or injured liver cells, which may indicate a temporary condition or a chronic disorder. The most common liver enzymes on blood tests are ALT, or alanine transaminase, and AST, or aspartate transaminase. Petechiae are tiny round spots on the skin caused by bleeding under the skin and may be brown, purple or red. Petechiae do not blanch out or become pale when pressure is applied. Many diseases are present with elevated liver enzymes and petechiae.

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Liver Disease

The two main types of liver disease are hepatocellular, such as viral or drug-related, and obstructive, such as malignancy, gallstones or primary biliary cirrhosis, according to Lippincott's Nursing Center. Acute or chronic liver disease can lead to liver failure. Blood-related symptoms that may be present in liver failure include bleeding disorders or petechiae. Because vitamin K absorption is impaired in liver failure, coagulation is compromised. Poor nutrition may cause the skin to become fragile and tear easily, which can lead to bruising and petechiae. Diagnostic studies to determine if liver disease is present are conducted to look for elevated liver enzymes. Some prescription medications, herbs and over-the-counter drugs can cause an elevation in liver enzymes, so a complete physical and history is necessary to rule out other causes for abnormal enzymes. Living with liver disease requires good nutrition and following the prescribed diet and medication regimen.


Preeclampsia is a complication affecting about 3 to 7 percent of pregnant women, according to Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. High blood pressure and protein in the urine after week 20 in the pregnancy indicate preeclampsia. Complications of preeclampsia include a detached placenta causing the baby to be born prematurely. Swelling of extremities, along with petechiae, may develop. Headaches, seizures or damage to internal organs can occur, depending on the severity of the preeclampsia. If liver enzymes are elevated, liver damage is indicated. Treatment of preeclampsia consists of bed rest either at home or in a hospital, depending on the severity and the time line of the pregnancy. Delivery is the only complete remedy. Monitoring of the blood pressure is crucial for intervention before eclampsia occurs in which the blood pressure causes seizures and possible death.

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

Dengue hemorrhagic fever, or DHF, can be caused by any of four dengue viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. For individuals who have had dengue fever, exposure to a different type of dengue virus them at a higher risk for developing DHF, a more serious condition, reports MedlinePlus. Possible symptoms of DHF include fever, cold and clammy extremities, muscle aches, vomiting, irritability, sweating and petechiae. Diagnostics include examination for an enlarged liver and blood tests to look for elevated liver enzymes. Treatment of symptoms may include blood transfusion, oxygen therapy and intravenous fluids as needed.

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