PURPOSE: To evaluate alanine aminotransferase levels before and after a hemodialysis session and to correlate these values with the hematocrit rate and weight loss during hemodialysis. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The serum alanine aminotransferase levels, hematocrit rate and body weight were measured and correlated before and after a single hemodialysis session for 146 patients with chronic renal failure. An receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the serum alanine aminotransferase levels collected before and after hemodialysis was plotted to identify hepatitis C virus-infected patients. RESULTS: The mean weight loss of the 146 patients during hemodialysis was 5.3% (p < 0.001). The mean alanine aminotransferase levels before and after hemodialysis were 18.8 and 23.9 IU/, respectively, denoting a significant 28.1% increase. An equally significant increase of 16.4% in the hematocrit rate also occurred after hemodialysis. The weight loss was inversely correlated with the rise in both the alanine aminotransferase level (r = 0.3; p < 0.001) and hematocrit rate (r = 0.5; p < 0.001). A direct correlation was found between the rise in alanine aminotransferase levels and the hematocrit during the hemodialysis session (r = 0.4; p < 0.001). Based on the ROC curve, the upper limit of the normal alanine aminotransferase level should be reduced by 40% relative to the upper limit of normal if the blood samples are collected before the hemodialysis session or by 60% if blood samples are collected after the session. CONCLUSION: In the present study, significant elevations in the serum alanine aminotransferase levels and hematocrit rates occurred in parallel to a reduction in body weight after the hemodialysis session. These findings suggest that one of the factors for low alanine aminotransferase levels prior to hemodialysis could be hemodilution in patients with chronic renal failure.