Assessment of hepatic vitamin E status in adult patients with liver disease



No published reports compare hepatic α-tocopherol (adjusted for hepatic lipid content) with indicators of blood α-tocopherol in adult patients with various liver diseases. α-Tocopherol was simultaneously measured in liver biopsy tissues and blood from 66 subjects (9 comparison patients hospitalized for biliary tract surgery, 13 with chronic persistent hepatitis, 9 with chronic aggressive hepatitis, 10 with acute hepatitis, 10 with cirrhosis, 7 with both cirrhosis and hepatic cell carcinoma, and 8 with fatty liver). Hepatic, erythrocyte, and plasma α-tocopherol concentrations were measured, as were hepatic and serum lipids. The ratios of α-tocopherol to total lipid concentrations (Toc/TL ratios) in plasma and liver were calculated. In both comparison patients and patients with chronic persistent hepatitis and fatty liver, hepatic α-tocopherol concentrations were strongly correlated with hepatic triglyceride and total lipid concentrations (r = .72, P < .001; and r = .75, P < .001, respectively); the relationships (slopes) when hepatic α-tocopherol concentrations were compared with hepatic triglyceride and total lipid concentrations were similar in these patients and in all subjects. No strong correlations were found between hepatic and blood α-tocopherol parameters in all subjects. These results suggest that hepatic α-tocopherol is present at similar concentrations in triglycerides as well as total cholesterol and phospholipids and that neither plasma Toc/TL ratios nor erythrocyte α-tocopherol concentrations are useful indicators of hepatic vitamin E status. The hepatic Toc/TL ratio may be useful to assess total hepatic vitamin E status.