The Role of Muscle Protein Catabolism in the Plasma Amino Acid Profile of Cirrhotics
Patients with liver cirrhosis have peculiar abnormalities in plasma amino acid concentrations: increased aromatic amino acids, methionine and free tryptophan, and decreased branched-chain amino acids.1,2 Increased breakdown of lean body mass was suggested as a mechanism by which aromatic amino acids may accumulate in the general circulation.3 A complete evaluation of myofibrillar protein degradation may be achieved by simultaneous assessment of daily 3-methylhistidine and creatinine in urine.4 In previous studies an increased myofibrillar protein catabolic rate was demonstrated in patients with liver cirrhosis with and without muscle wasting.5
KeywordsLiver Cirrhosis Hepatic Encephalopathy Lean Body Mass Aromatic Amino Acid Muscle Wasting
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