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Diagnostic value of serum gamma-glutamyl-transferase activity and mean corpuscular volume in alcoholic patients with or without cirrhosis



Diagnostic value of serum gamma-glutamyl-transferase activity and mean corpuscular volume in alcoholic patients with or without cirrhosis



Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 14(2): 250-254



In an attempt to assess the diagnostic values of serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) variations as markers of liver disease and of abstinence in alcoholic patients, we compared 174 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, 175 with noncirrhotic alcoholic liver disease and 67 patients with nonalcoholic cirrhosis. GGT and MCV values were checked three times, the day of admission, 7 days later, and on the last sample available during follow-up (1 to 12 months), and were compared according to the liver disease and abstinence. A decrease of GGT activity during the 1st week of hospitalization was noted in alcoholics with (-9 IU/liter) or without (-13 IU/liter) cirrhosis and not in nonalcoholic cirrhosis (+8 IU/liter), without MCV variations. During follow-up, median GGT activity was strikingly different in abstinent patients with (27 IU/liter) or without (21 IU/liter) cirrhosis and in nonabstinent patients (99 IU/liter and 123 IU/liter, respectively) (p less than 0.001). MCV decrease was noted in alcoholics whatever their abstinence or not, contrasting with the absence of decrease in nonalcoholic patients. For the diagnosis of alcoholism in cirrhotic patients, the positive predictive value (PPV) of a GGT or a MCV decrease during the 1st week of hospitalization was 0.82 and 0.78, respectively, and the negative predictive value (NPV) was 0.33 and 0.70, respectively. For abstinence during follow-up, the PPV of a GGT activity less than 50 IU/liter was 0.92 and the NPV was 0.65.

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Accession: 039813570

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PMID: 1972004


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