The influence of hepatic insufficiency due to alcoholic cirrhosis on the erythrocyte transketolase activity (ETKA)

Authors


Niels Graudal, M.D. Wiedeweltsgade 56 DK-2100 Copenhagen Denmark

Abstract

ABSTRACT— The erythrocyte transketolase activity (ETKA), the stimulated erythrocyte transketolase activity (ETKAS), and the thiaminepyrophosphate effect (TPPE) were measured in 21 alcoholic patients with cirrhosis and hepatic insufficiency, 13 alcoholic patients without cirrhosis and 21 non-alcoholic persons before and after oral treatment with 100 mg of thiamine daily for 2 weeks in order to investigate the influence of hepatic insufficiency on these variables. A statistically significant rise in ETKA and fall in TPPE were found in all three groups. ETKA, ETKAS and TPPE did not differ from each other in alcoholic patients with and without cirrhosis, but TPPE was significantly higher in these patients than in the non-alcoholic persons. The conclusions are that severe cirrhosis does not affect the erythrocyte transketolase apoenzyme, the ability of the tissues to convert thiamine to thiaminepyrophosphate for use in the erythrocytes or the absorption of thiamine from the gastrointestinal tract. Besides alcoholism seems to dispose to thiamine deficiency to a higher degree than cirrhosis, and the role of the liver as a thiamine store appears to be of minor importance in the development of thiamine deficiency. Finally, ETKA, ETKAS, and TPPE are considered to be usable as thiamine deficiency indicators in patients with cirrhosis as well as in patients without cirrhosis.

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