Ricerca in clinica e in laboratorio

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 235–242 | Cite as

IgA antibodies to dietary antigens in liver cirrhosis

  • Umberto Volta
  • Claudia Bonazzi
  • Francesco B. Bianchi
  • Anna Maria Baldoni
  • Marco Zoli
  • Emilio Pisi
Original Contributions


Antibodies to dietary antigens (ovalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, casein) have been detected by a micro-ELISA test in 47–50% of serum samples from patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis, in 27–36% with non-alcoholic cirrhosis (HBV-related, autoimmune and primary biliary) and in 50–70% of cirrhotic patients with portacaval shunt. Dietary antibodies were mainly confined to the IgA class (90%). In patients with chronic active hepatitis dietary antibodies showed a low positivity (11%), similar to that of subjects with alcohol abuse without liver injury and of healthy subjects. Dietary antibodies were significantly associated with portal hypertension (evaluated on the presence of esophageal varices and/or ascites) both in alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis. The absence of dietary antibodies in the duodenal juice of cirrhotic patients positive for serum antibodies confirms that the intestinal mucosa is normal or slightly altered in liver cirrhosis. Unlike cirrhotics, untreated celiac patients showed a high prevalence of dietary antibodies also in the duodenal juice (55%).


Antibodies to dietary antigens Chronic liver disease IgA antibodies Liver cirrhosis Portal hypertension 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umberto Volta
    • 1
  • Claudia Bonazzi
    • 1
  • Francesco B. Bianchi
    • 2
  • Anna Maria Baldoni
    • 1
  • Marco Zoli
    • 1
  • Emilio Pisi
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Clinica Medica IIUniversità degli Studi di Bologna Ospedale Policlinico S. OrsolaBolognaItalia
  2. 2.Cattedra di Semeiotica MedicaUniversità degli Studi di BolognaItalia

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