Biochemical, Morphological and Clinical Correlates of Alcoholic Liver Disease

  • H. Orrego
  • Y. Israel


One of the puzzling aspects of alcoholic liver disease is the lack of correlation between the classical morphological abnormalities found in the liver and the clinical manifestations of liver failure (Schaffner and Popper, 1970; Galambos, 1974; Birschbach et al., 1974; Bathal et al., 1975; Helman et al., 1971; Leevy et al., 1953; Green et al., 1963; Rankin et al., 1978; Leevy et al., 1976). Morphological changes in liver diseases have been grouped essentially into three categories, namely fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis (Leevy et al., 1976). It is generally agreed that as a group individuals presenting only fatty liver are clinically less severely ill than those with alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis (Rankin et al., 1978). The implication is that the three stages represent increasing degrees in the progression of the disease. Nevertheless, from the clinical point of view, the whole spectrum of severity of liver disease, from the clinically inapparent to death, can occur in patients in every category (Bathal et al., 1975; Helman et al., 1971; Leevy et al., 1953; Rankin et al., 1978; Leevy et al., 1976; Christoffersen and Neilsen, 1972; Nakamura et al., 1967; Goldberg and Thompson, 1961; Green, 1965; Leevy, 1962; Knott and Beard, 1966; Bordalo et al., 1974; Galambos, 1972; Popper and Szanto, 1957). These studies indicate that these three alleged progression stages do not adequately describe the disease, and warrant further investigation into the possible correlations of individual structural findings and the clinical manifestations. The possibility exists of finding new morphological parameters that might correlate better with the severity of the clinical features and with the progression of the functional deterioration of the liver.


Fatty Liver Portal Hypertension Serum Bilirubin Alcoholic Liver Disease Portal Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Orrego
    • 1
  • Y. Israel
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and MedicineUniversity of Toronto and the Addiction Research FoundationTorontoCanada

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