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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1987 Jun;11(3):287-91.

Serum procollagen type III N-terminal peptides and laminin P1 peptide in alcoholic liver disease.


The appearance of perivenular fibrosis on liver biopsy reflects the beginning of the fibrotic process that ultimately results in liver cirrhosis. To examine whether the fibrogenic activity can be detected by blood tests, we evaluated whole antibody radioimmunoassay (RIA) of procollagen type III N-terminal peptides (P-III-P), RIA of these peptides using Fab fragments (Fab-P-III-P), and RIA of the laminin P1 peptide in alcoholics within 1 week of alcohol abstinence. The Fab-P-III-P levels in subjects with perivenular fibrosis were significantly higher than those in patients with simple fatty liver. Values in 63% of subjects with perivenular fibrosis exceeded the upper limit of the fatty liver group. Patients with simple fatty liver had significantly lower values than nonalcoholic controls. Serum levels of P-III-P and laminin were elevated in patients with alcoholic hepatitis and correlated well with the degree of inflammation. With abstinence, Fab-P-III-P levels increased in all alcoholics. P-III-P values increased in patients with normal P-III-P values on admission. By contrast, the values of laminin decreased during abstinence. Therefore, to interpret serum levels of Fab-P-III-P, P-III-P, and laminin, the duration of abstinence must be taken into consideration. P-III-P, Fab-P-III-P and laminin measurements in the serum within 1 week of abstinence can contribute to the detection of alcoholic liver disease and the determination of its stage.

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