Background: Changes in glycosylation of senun glycoproteins have been described in different pathologic conditions, and increased fucosylation has previously been reported in patients with liver disease. We analyzed serwn samples from patients admitted to hospital for detoxification of excessive alcohol consumption in order to study α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) fucosylation and its correlation to other biochemical markers of alcoholism and liver damage.
Methods: We used a novel lectin innmmoassay to analyze AGP fucosylation (AGP-F) in a prospective study of 21 consecutive patients admitted for treatment at Linköping University Hospital in the Southeast of Sweden. The results were compared with markers conunonly used for detecting alcoholism and liver cirrhosis, such as carbohydrate deficient transferrin, aminotransferase activity, including aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio (AST/ALT), and with hyaluronic acid (HA). In addition, ultrasonography of the liver was performed in 16 of the 21 patients.
Results: AGP-F was significantly higher in the male study patients than in normal controls. In addition, in these patients AGP-F correlated to the levels of AST/ALT-ratio and HA No correlation was found between AGP-F and steatosis of the liver, as indicated by ultrasonography, or between AGP-F and CDT.
Conclusion: We conclude that AGP-F is increased in men with a high alcohol intake and correlates with AST/ALT ratio and HA, which previously have been found to be indictors of liver cirrhosis. AGP-F should be further evaluated as a potential early indicator ofliver cirrhosis in this patient category.