Hepatic zinc content in patients with various stages of alcoholic liver disease and in patients with chronic active and chronic persistent hepatitis.


Bode JC, Hanisch P, Henning H, Koenig W






The hepatic zinc content was determined in liver biopsies of patients with alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver disease using proton-induced X- ray emission. The values obtained in postmortem specimens of the liver from 27 patients with no evidence of acute or chronic liver disease served as controls. The mean value and the range of the zinc content in the controls (75 +/- 24 ppm wet weight) are in good agreement with those reported in the literature. The hepatic zinc content in the control group showed no significant age or sex dependence. The mean zinc content was significantly decreased in all groups of patients with alcoholic liver disease. The decrease was comparable in biopsies from patients with alcoholic fatty liver (- 56.7%, n = 12), mild alcoholic hepatitis (-50.5%, n = 6) and alcoholic cirrhosis (-45.6%, n = 10). The hepatic zinc content was also distinctly reduced in patients with chronic active hepatitis (- 60.3%, n = 15) and in those with chronic persistent hepatitis (- 44.9%, n = 8). The estimation of the zinc content in subcellular fractions of the liver performed in postmortem specimens from seven patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis and in six controls revealed a significant reduction in the zinc content in the fraction containing cell nuclei and membranes and in the mitochondrial fraction. A similar decrease was seen in the 100,000 g supernatant; however, the difference did not attain statistical difference. The zinc content of the microsomal fraction in the controls was lower than in the other three cell fractions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)