Antituberculosis drug-related liver injury (ATLI) is the most prevalent hepatotoxicity in many countries. Whether monitoring liver tests is beneficial to prevent this potentially grave adverse drug reaction (ADR) is open to debate. The Taiwan Drug Relief Foundation (TDRF) was established by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration to collect severe cases of ADR and carry out drug injury relief tasks. Our intention was to explore the role of monitoring liver tests in the susceptibility and severity of ATLI from the database of this foundation. All cases of suspected ATLI collected by the TDRF from 1999 to 2012 were reviewed. The basic demographic data, clinical course, and laboratory data of these patients were analyzed. A total of 57 cases with severe ATLI were verified and enrolled into this study. There was a high mortality (71.9%) in this cohort. Twenty-four cases (42.1%) were chronic viral hepatitis B carriers, who had higher baseline serum aminotransferase level than noncarriers. The patients without monitoring liver tests had higher peak serum alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin levels, and mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 8.87; 95% confidence interval = 1.32-59.41; p = 0.024) than those with monitoring liver tests. In conclusion, patients with severe ATLI whose records were collected by the TDRF have a high mortality. Patients without follow-up monitoring liver tests had more severe liver injuries and higher mortality than those with monitoring live tests. To alleviate this potentially grave ADR, checking of liver biochemical tests prior to antituberculosis treatment and periodic monitoring of these tests thereafter are highly suggested. © 2013, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan.

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