, Volume 129, Issue 1-3, pp 78-87
Date: 23 Dec 2008

Determination of Copper and Iron in Biological Samples of Viral Hepatitis (A–E) Female Patients

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There is accumulative evidence that the metabolism of iron and copper is altered in viral hepatic diseases, and these nutrients might have specific roles in their pathogenesis and progress. The aim of present study was to compare the level of copper (Cu) and iron (Fe) in biological samples (serum, urine, and scalp hair) of female patients suffering from different viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D, and E; n = 253) of age range 31–45 years. For comparative study, 95 healthy females of the same age group residing in the same city were selected. The elements in the biological samples were analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry, prior to microwave-assisted acid digestion. The validity and accuracy of the methodology was checked by using certified reference materials (CRMs) and with those values obtained by conventional wet acid digestion method on same CRMs. The results of this study showed that the mean values of Cu and Fe were higher in sera and scalp hair samples of hepatitis patients than age-matched control subjects, while the difference was significant (p < 0.001), in the cases of viral hepatitis B and viral hepatitis C as compared to viral hepatitis A, D, and E. The urinary levels of these elements were found higher in the hepatitis patients than in the age-matched healthy controls (p < 0.05). These results are consistent with literature-reported data, confirming that hepatic iron and copper overload can directly cause lipid peroxidation and eventually hepatic damage.