Halothane Hepatotoxicity Workup

Updated: Dec 17, 2019
  • Author: Ruben Peralta, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Laboratory Studies

A CBC count with differential may show mild leukocytosis or eosinophilia.

The bilirubin level may be more than 170 mcg/L.

Serum transaminase levels are elevated.

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) may reveal halothane-related antibodies.

Eosinophilia occurs in 8-32% of patients with type II halothane hepatotoxicity.

Serum autoantibodies may be present in 30-44% of patients with type II halothane hepatotoxicity



Consider performing a liver biopsy. However, the findings in halothane hepatitis are indistinguishable from those of fulminant viral hepatitis.


Histologic Findings

Acute yellow atrophy and widespread centrilobular hepatocellular necrosis that is indistinguishable from fulminant viral hepatitis are observed.