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Z Gastroenterol. 1988 Aug;26(8):409-15.

Clinical studies on zinc in chronic liver diseases.

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Clinic of Internal Medicine, Institute for Clinical Chemistry, Medical Academy of Magdeburg, German Democratic Republic.


Zinc is essential to numerous metabolic processes in the organism, multiform symptoms being found especially in deficiencies. In addition to nutritional factors, diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver. Crohn's disease and chronic renal diseases are relevant in this context. In the present work, serum zinc levels were investigated in 109 patients with various chronic liver diseases. The lowest serum zinc concentrations were seen in patients with decompensated hepatic cirrhosis with coma. Patients with decompensated alcoholic cirrhosis had lower zinc levels as subjects with nonalcoholic cirrhosis. None of the groups exhibited a significant change in serum zinc levels during the treatment period. Laboratory data (such as transaminases, thromboplastin time, alkaline phosphatase, total proteins) did not correlate with the serum zinc concentrations. The concentration of plasma ammonia, however, appeared to be inversely related to the serum zinc levels. Thus, patients with coma had maximum ammonia and minimum zinc levels.

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