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Hepatogastroenterology. 1983 Aug;30(4):143-7.

The influence of portosystemic shunting on zinc and vitamin A metabolism in liver cirrhosis.


To elucidate the possible role of portosystemic shunting on zinc and vitamin A deficiency which has been described in patients with cirrhosis of the liver, a study on 37 hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis was performed. Patients with surgical portosystemic shunt were found to have a significantly lower levels of zinc, vitamin A and retinol-binding protein (RBP) than controls and patients with cirrhosis without shunt. Patients with portal hypertension--considered to have spontaneous shunting--also has lower levels than those without this symptom. A significant correlation between zinc and vitamin A and RBP levels, respectively, was found. Also an increased renal zinc output was demonstrated. An influence of portosystemic shunting on zinc deficiency and subsequent vitamin A deficiency by decreased RBP release is concluded. The importance of these metabolic disorders for clinical symptoms is discussed.

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