Author(s): UmusigQuitain P, Gregorio GV
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND AIM: The role of zinc in the nutrition and growth of children with chronic liver disease is poorly defined. The present study determined the serum zinc levels of children with compensated liver disease (CLD) and decompensated liver disease (DLD) and compared this with healthy children. Zinc levels were also correlated with the severity of liver disease as measured by Child-Pugh scores. METHODS: The study comprised of 60 children 0-10 years of age with chronic liver disease, defined as CLD (n = 30) if the Child-Pugh score was < 6, and DLD (n = 30) if the Child-Pugh score was > or = 6. Thirty healthy children 0-10 years served as controls. Serum zinc levels were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. RESULTS: The 90 patients included 30 with CLD (mean age: 4.54 years: 21 boys; mean Child-Pugh score: 5.83), 30 with DLD (mean age: 1.39 years; 17 boys; mean Child-Pugh score: 9.53) and 30 healthy children (mean age: 4.6; 16 boys). Zinc levels of patients with CLD were significantly lower compared with the healthy controls (Mean [standard deviation]: 68.07 [31.55]vs 89.9 [25.9]microg/dL, P = 0.000), but significantly higher compared to the patients with DLD (48.8 [26.8]microg/dL). Correlation studies showed that the higher the Child-Pugh score, the lower the zinc levels (r = -0.460) CONCLUSIONS: Children with chronic liver disease, whether in a compensated or decompensated state, had lower serum zinc levels compared with the healthy controls. As the severity of liver disease worsened, the zinc levels decreased. The study suggests that zinc supplementation should constitute part of the micronutrient intake of children with chronic liver disease.
This article was published in J Gastroenterol Hepatol
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research