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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1986 May-Jun;5(3):459-62.

Hepatic and serum levels of zinc, copper, and magnesium in childhood cirrhosis.


Serum and hepatic zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and magnesium (Mg) contents were determined in 21 children with morphologically proven liver cirrhosis: 11 with cryptogenic cirrhosis (CC) and 10 with secondary biliary cirrhosis (SBC). These determinations were also carried out in eight patients with idiopathic portal hypertension. Serum levels of Zn, Cu, and Mg in 23 healthy children and hepatic contents of these minerals in 22 patients without liver pathology were evaluated. All determinations were carried out by atomic absorption spectrophotometry by using special tubes, needles, and syringes in appropriate conditions. Tissue Zn and Mg contents were decreased, but the Cu level was elevated significantly in childhood cirrhosis; in almost all patients with SBC and half of the CC cases. Serum levels of these minerals generally did not correlate to tissue levels in childhood cirrhosis.

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