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Abstract

Progression of alcoholic liver disease is closely related to drinking habits. However, prognosis of alcoholic liver disease is not determined just by drinking habits, but also by other factors. In this study, the roles of alcohol-altered liver membrane antibody and hepatitis C virus infection were analyzed in alcoholic patients who were followed up for various lengths of time. Serial changes of liver histological appearance were analyzed in 39 patients with alcoholic liver disease who were followed for long periods (49.7 ± 34.3 mo) and who underwent liver biopsy at least two times. Prognoses of 35 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis who were followed for more than 1 yr were also evaluated. Development of cirrhosis in alcoholic liver disease was significantly higher in the alcohol-altered liver membrane antibody–positive patients than in the patients negative for this antibody. On the other hand, hepatitis C virus markers were not related to development of cirrhosis. However, hepatocellular carcinoma developed more frequently in the hepatitis C virus marker–positive patients. In patients with cirrhosis, the cumulative rates of hepatocellular carcinoma development were significantly higher in the hepatitis C virus marker–positive patients than in the marker-negative patients. Cumulative survival rates in the hepatitis C virus marker–positive patients were significantly lower than rates in the hepatitis C virus marker–negative patients, even in noncancer patients. However, such differences were not observed in the alcohol-altered liver membrane antibody–positive and alcohol-altered liver membrane antibody–negative cirrhotic patients. These results suggest that alcohol altered liver membrane antibody is a factor related to the progression of alcoholic liver disease and that hepatitis C virus infection is a determining factor for development of hepatocellular carcinoma and for prognosis of cirrhosis in patients who continue to drink. (HEPATOLOGY 1993;17:9–13.)