Serum attractant activity, measured in 57 patients with chronic liver disease, was significantly reduced in 66% of the 27 patients with alcoholic liver disease and in 29% of the 17 patients with chronic active hepatitis, but was normal in 13 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis despite the presence of established cirrhosis in nearly half of them. In patients with alcoholic liver disease, but not in those with chronic active hepatitis, there was a correlation between the serum defect and severity of liver disease. The defect could not be related to the deficiency of key complement components, raised concentrations of IgA or G or the concurrent presence of bacterial infection. These findings suggest that the aetiology of liver disease may be an important factor in the development of serum attractant abnormalities.
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