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Dig Dis Sci. 1988 Sep;33(9):1096-102.

Zinc plasma levels after oral zinc tolerance test in nonalcoholic cirrhosis.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Turkey.


Zinc absorption was examined in 25 nonalcoholic cirrhotic patients using the oral zinc tolerance test and comparing results to a healthy control group. With 22.5 mg elementary zinc, the increase in plasma zinc was significantly lower in the cirrhotic patients than in the control group with P less than 0.01 in the first and second hours and P less than 0.05 in the fourth hour. The zinc malabsorption may result from an abnormal small intestinal mucosa. Indeed small intestinal biopsies in all patients showed partial shortening and prominent distension of villi and intense stromal edema with inflammatory cell infiltration of the lamina propria. However, it is not clear whether these intestinal changes are due to zinc deficiency or to portal hypertension. Thus zinc malabsorption appears to contribute to zinc deficiency in nonalcoholic cirrhotics and seems to result, in part, from pathological changes in the mucosa.

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