Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 211–214 | Cite as

Serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and chronic alcoholism

Influence of alcohol ingestion and liver disease
  • S. Nemat Moussavian
  • Richard C. Becker
  • Joseph L. Piepmeyer
  • Esteban Mezey
  • Richard C. Bozian
Original Articles


Serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase was determined in 123 alcoholic patients and found elevated in all patients with liver disease but in only 52% of patients without significant liver disease. In patients without clinically obvious liver disease, the elevations were two to three times the upper limit of normal and decreased to normal in 80% of patients, eight weeks after abstinence. By contrast, in patients with liver disease, the elevations of serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase were of the order of eight to 10 times above normal and persisted at these high levels following eight weeks of abstinence. The degree of abnormality of the serum enzyme did not correlate with the daily amount of alcohol ingested or with the total length of time of alcohol consumption in these alcoholic patients. This study shows that serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase is persistently elevated in patients with clinically obvious liver injury, but only in 22% of chronic alcoholics without significant liver disease.


Public Health Enzyme Alcohol Liver Disease Alcohol Consumption 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Nemat Moussavian
    • 1
  • Richard C. Becker
    • 1
  • Joseph L. Piepmeyer
    • 1
  • Esteban Mezey
    • 1
  • Richard C. Bozian
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Clincinnati College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineHuntington

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