Article

Biochemical indicators and cardiac function tests in chronic alcohol abusers

Department of Biochemistry, Cukurova University, Medical Faculty, Adana, Turkey.
Croatian Medical Journal (Impact Factor: 1.31). 04/2005; 46(2):233-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

To determine the effect of chronic alcohol abuse on cardiac function, antioxidant system, trace elements, and liver function tests.
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), as well as zinc, magnesium, and copper were assayed in 25 chronic alcoholic patients and their 25 healthy relatives matched in age and gender. Echocardiographic parameters were evaluated for subjects.
Mean corpuscular volume (96.7 fL vs 92.4 fL) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin levels (31.4 pg vs 30.5 pg) were found to be significantly increased in the patient group (P=0.002 and P=0.048, respectively). The results of the SOD and MDA assays showed no significant differences between the two groups. AST (38.7 U/L vs 22.1 U/L) and GGT (104.2 U/L vs 34.2 U/L) levels were found to be significantly increased in the patient group compared with controls (P=0.005 and P<0.001, respectively). Magnesium (1.6 mmol/L vs 1.8 mmol/L) and zinc levels (14.9 micromol/L vs 19.2 micromol/L) were significantly decreased, whereas copper levels (19.3 micromol/L vs 17.9 micromol/L) were increased in alcoholics (P=0.042, P<0.001 and P=0.003, respectively). Echocardiographic examination showed a significant decrease in mitral and tricuspid ratio of peak early and atrial flow velocity (E/A ratio) in alcoholics.
Decrease in mitral and tricuspid E/A ratios accompanied with low levels of magnesium and zinc, and increased levels of copper indicate that alcoholics already have heart muscle disease even chronic alcohol exposure.

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