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Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1995 Jun-Jul;18(6):309-14.

[Changes in the small intestine mucosa in chronic alcoholism].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Gastroenterología, Hospital Clínic i Provincial, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Barcelona.


Morphologic and enzyme induction phenomena changes in the small bowel mucosa produced by excessive alcohol intake were studied. Both aspects may have nutritional repercussions in alcoholic patients. Three groups of patients were included in the study: group I made up of 20 healthy controls, group II with 30 alcoholic patients with active alcohol intake at the time of the study and group III made up of 30 alcoholics following abstinence. The nutritional status, possible existence of associated liver disease, intestinal morphology and the mucosal and serum gamma glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) levels were evaluated. The morphologic changes observed under the study conditions, with normal levels of ingestion in alcoholic with active alcohol intake, were mild and could be related with the nutritional status and folate deficiency which some presented than being secondary to a direct toxic effect of the alcohol. Moreover, significant increases were observed in the GGT in the intestinal mucosa of alcoholics with active intake (3.97 +/- 1.37 mU/g of tissue) with respect to the control group (1.86 +/- 0.7 mU/g). The changes were rapidly reversible following abstinence and correlated with the changes observed in serum, thus suggesting an enzymatic induction mechanism.

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