What is the role of serum chemistry in the workup of babesiosis?

Updated: Apr 01, 2021
  • Author: Rachel E Strength, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Serum creatinine measurements should be obtained to assess potential renal insufficiency. Both serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels may be elevated [9] ; however, care must be taken to consider other causes of acute kidney injury before ascribing these changes to Babesia infection.

Liver enzymes should be obtained to look for elevated hepatic transaminase levels (ie, aspartate aminotransferase [AST] and alanine aminotransferase [ALT]), an elevated alkaline phosphatase level, and hyperbilirubinemia. These abnormalities are variably present in patients with babesiosis. [9]

As with malaria, babesiosis may present with elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). [9] It is unclear whether increased LDH levels reflect the degree of parasitemia or the severity of Babesia infection.


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