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Alcohol Alcohol. 1989;24(4):319-29.

The interactions of insulin-like growth factor I(IGF-I) with protein-calorie malnutrition in patients with alcoholic liver disease: V.A. Cooperative Study on Alcoholic Hepatitis VI.

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  • 1V.A. Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45220.


Plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) were measured in 95 alcoholic men with a spectrum of alcoholic liver injury and protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM). Circulating levels of IGF-I were depressed in the alcoholic patients (0.23 +/- 0.02 U/ml; mean +/- S.E.M.) compared to controls (1.0 +/- 0.07, P less than 0.0001). Plasma IGF-I levels declined progressively with falling indices of PCM (P less than 0.001) and correlated especially with the parameters relating to protein deficiency. While the severity of liver dysfunction and histopathologic alterations in the liver also related to plasma IGF-I concentration, partial correlation analysis showed that only PCM correlated significantly with IGF-I levels independent of the other factors. These findings indicate that IGF-I levels reflect nutritional status even in the presence of alcoholic liver disease.

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