Author(s): Meram I, Sirmatel F, Ahi S, Tarakcioglu M
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The relationship between chronic hepatitis and trace metals has not been understood clearly. Copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) are essential trace elements for several metabolic processes. Overload or deficiency of these elements can lead to metabolic disorders and some other diseases. In this study, we aimed to examine the relationship between chronic hepatitis and plasma Cu and Zn levels. METHODS: Forty-three patients with chronic viral hepatitis (CVH) and 30 healthy controls were included in this study. The patients were consecutively admitted to the Department of Infectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Gaziantep University, Turkey, between January 2000 and November 2000. Plasma Cu and Zn levels, and hepatic function test results of the patients and controls were compared. Serologic and virologic markers, and histopathologic assessments were performed for confirmation of CVH. Plasma Cu and Zn concentrations were determined with Bathocuproin, using deproteinization method and 5-Br-PAPS methods. RESULTS: Patients plasma Cu level was 16.0 +/- 2.8 and plasma Zn level was 26.0 +/- 7.3. The corresponding values were 12.2 +/- 5.4 and 26.6 +/- 5.6 in the healthy controls. The patients with CVH had a higher plasma Cu level than the controls (p<0.05) while the Zn levels were similar in both groups (p>0.08). CONCLUSION: Although there is an increased plasma Cu level in CVH, its mechanism is unclear. However, this condition may have clinical importance as Cu is a hepatotoxic element.
This article was published in Saudi Med J
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research