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Hepatogastroenterology. 1982 Oct;29(5):183-6.

Increased frequency of DR3 antigen in alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.


HLA-A, B and DR antigens were determined in 33 patients suffering from confirmed alcoholic hepatitis, with or without cirrhosis. Past alcohol consumption and plasma immunoglobulins were also determined in 21 cases. An increased frequency of the DR-3 antigen was found in patients as compared with the control group (a sample of the Geneva population (31% v. 11%, p less than 0.05)). Although past alcohol consumption tended to be less in DR-3 positive patients in comparison with the other patients, the difference was not significant. No other differentiating clinical, immunological or histological features were observed among DR-3 positive patients. Our findings that there appears to be an increased frequency of DR-3 antigens in patients with alcoholic hepatitis, together with the previous work showing an increased frequency of HLA-B8 in the same condition, is particularly interesting in the light of the known association of both these antigens with autoimmune disease. These results would suggest that liver damage in chronic alcoholism is genetically predisposed, and that autoimmune mechanisms could be involved in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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