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Clinical detection of the hepatic lesion of pericentral sclerosis in chronic alcoholics.
  1. Y Kaku,
  2. Y Hasumura,
  3. J Takeuchi


    It has been shown that a specific liver lesion--that is, pericentral sclerosis associated with pericellular fibrosis--is the precursor of alcoholic liver sclerosis. It is, however, difficult to diagnose this hepatic lesion in chronic alcoholics, using only clinical data without liver biopsy. To investigate the possibility of a clinical test reflecting the presence of this hepatic lesion, ethanol (0.75 g/kg body weight) was given orally to chronic alcoholics, and serum glycoprotein levels (prealbumin, alpha HS glycoprotein, haptoglobin, alpha 2-macroglobulin) were measured before and six hours after. Chronic alcoholics were divided into three groups according to the histological findings in the liver at the time of study. Group I (alcoholic fatty liver or non-specific change) consisted of seven cases without pericentral sclerosis. Group II (alcoholic hepatic fibrosis or alcoholic hepatitis) consisted of five cases with pericentral sclerosis and pericellular fibrosis. Group III consisted of five cases with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. After the ethanol administration, serum glycoprotein levels decreased significantly in group I (P less than 0.05), whereas they increased in group II and group III. Their alternative ratios (see text) apparently differed (P less than 0.005) between group I and group II, and between group I and group III. These results indicate that the determination of serum glycoprotein levels before and after oral ethanol administration is useful way of discriminating alcoholic patients with hepatic pericentral sclerosis and pericellular fibrosis from alcoholics without such lesions.

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