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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2002 Aug;26(8 Suppl):11S-14S.

Assessment of a difference in ALDH2 heterozygotes and alcoholic liver injury.

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Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Tokai University, Bohseidai, Isehara, Kanagwa, Japan.


We have speculated that the degree of liver dysfunction in alcoholic liver disease with ALDH2*1/2*2 may be less pronounced than that with ALDH2*1/2*1. In the present study, outpatients with alcoholic liver injury were examined for ALDH2 genotype and biochemical data. The number of patients was 29 cases of nonspecific changes, 16 cases of fatty liver, 5 cases of liver fibrosis, and 44 cases of liver cirrhosis. Biochemical data were evaluated with ALDH2 heterozygotes data obtained by PCR-SSCP. The ALDH2*1/2*1 and ALDH2*1/2*1 genotypes accounted for 90% and 10%, respectively. As for ALDH2*1/2*2, there were three patients with nonspecific changes, three with fatty liver, one with liver fibrosis, and two with liver cirrhosis. In alcoholic liver disease patients, when the ALDH2*1/2*2 genotype was compared with the ALDH2*1/2*1 genotype with biochemical data, the gamma-GTP value in patients with ALDH2*1/2*2 was significantly higher than with ALDH2*1/2*1 ( < 0.005). When the frequency of ALDH2 genotype was determined in patients with alcoholic liver injury, ALDH2 heterozygotes accounted for 15% for the non-cirrhosis group, and 5% for the cirrhotic group. When a relationship between the amount of ethanol intake and biochemical data were determined in patients with alcoholic liver injury who have ALDH2 heterozygotes, the glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and gamma-GTP values were significantly higher at an ethanol intake amount of ethanol more than 100 g per day than intake less than 100 g per day ( < 0.05). The alcoholic patients with ALDH2*1/2*2 drink a slight amount of ethanol, the liver injury is found to be stronger than those with ALDH2*1/2*1 when they drink more than 100 g ethanol per day.

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