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Clin Biochem. 1985 Dec;18(6):373-5.

Copper, zinc and copper/zinc ratio in chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.


Serum copper and zinc levels and their ratio were evaluated in 48 control subjects, 29 patients with pancreatic cancer, 46 with chronic pancreatitis and 32 with extra-pancreatic diseases, with the purpose of ascertaining modifications in chronic pancreatic disease. Hepatic involvement and age were also investigated as possible factors influencing results. Cu/Zn ratio was found to be significantly increased in pancreatic cancer (2.66 +/- 0.16, mean +/- SE) as compared to controls (1.39 +/- 0.06, p less than 0.001), chronic pancreatitis (1.82 +/- 0.09. p less than 0.001) and extra-pancreatic diseases (1.81 +/- 0.18, p less than 0.001), but without practical clinical value. Serum zinc levels appear to decrease with age, while copper and Cu/Zn ratio increase. However, covariance analysis demonstrated that age does not play an important role in influencing copper and Cu/Zn ratio. A decreased liver synthetic function, at least in part age-related, seems to be an additional factor in decreasing serum zinc values.

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