Hormonal status of postmenopausal women with alcohol-induced cirrhosis: Further findings and a review of the literature

Authors

  • Judith S. Gavaler Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261
    • Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, M2, DeSoto at O'Hara Streets, Presbyterian University Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA 15213–2582
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  • David H. van Thiel

    1. Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261
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Abstract

The derangements of levels of sex hormones and gonadotropins in alcoholic cirrhotic men are well delineated. The countersituation in alcoholic cirrhotic women has not yet been fully described. This study was performed in postmenopausal women among whom menstrual cycle variations in hormones no longer occur; with such a study population, it is possible to control for confounding factors and thus optimize detection of differences in levels of hormones and hormone interrelationships. Both estradiol levels and a rough estimate of aromatization of testosterone to estradiol, the estradiol to testosterone ratio, were significantly elevated in the 20 alcoholic subjects with alcohol-induced cirrhosis, as compared with the 27 normal controls; similarly, testosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone were all significantly reduced in the alcoholic cirrhotic women. In addition, the normal relationships of estradiol with luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, body mass and the estradiol/testosterone ratio were detected in the control group but not in the group of cirrhotic women. Further, among the alcoholic cirrhotic postmenopausal women, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and the estradiol/testosterone ratio were all significantly correlated with the Child's liver disease severity score. That the hormone levels and their interrelationships differ markedly between normal and alcoholic cirrhotic women extends previous findings in both men and postmenopausal women; the correlations of hormone levels and markers of liver disease will require further investigation. (HEPATOLOGY 1992;16:312–319.)

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