Author(s): Gr G, Bayraktar Y, Ozer D, Ozdogan M, Kayhan B
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND/AIMS: Zinc is an essential, mostly intracellular, trace element which participates in many physiologic mechanisms. Some liver functions like urea formation require the presence of zinc; thus the determination of hepatic zinc content may contribute to the understanding of probable zinc-related clinical consequences of chronic liver disease. In this study, we aimed to determine the hepatic zinc concentrations in patients with chronic liver disease due to the Hepatitis B virus and to ascertain the relationship between the severity of liver disease and hepatic zinc content, if one in fact exists. METHODOLOGY: A total of 99 HBsAg positive subjects were included in the study. We performed a liver biopsy on all subjects. Hepatic zinc concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. RESULTS: The liver biopsies were normal in 25 subjects. There were 33 chronic active hepatitis (CAH), 34 cirrhosis and 7 chronic persistent hepatitis (CPH) patients in the study group. In the control group, CAH, cirrhosis and CPH groups, the mean liver zinc concentrations were 3.83 +/- 1.86, 1.86 +/- 0.92, 1.14 +/- 0.68 and 3.74 +/- 1.81 mumol/g dry weight, respectively. Hepatic zinc in the CAH and cirrhosis groups were lower than that of the control group (p < 0.05). We also found that liver zinc in the cirrhosis group was lower than in the CAH group (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: According to these results, as the severity of liver damage increases, the hepatic zinc concentration decreases. Therefore, it can be suggested that zinc supplementation may improve hepatic encephalopathy by increasing the efficiency of the urea cycle.
This article was published in Hepatogastroenterology
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research