Liver :: Plasma serotonin levels can correlate with degree of liver insufficiency

Liver cirrhosis is a worldwide disease with an incidence of 5 – 10% and represents a major health problem everywhere. Prognosis depends on the degree of liver damage and etiology of cirrhosis. Treatment is complex and often very expensive. Due to this, the attempts of researchers are focused on finding the most optimal therapeutic modalities, which depend mostly on the stage of cirrhosis.

A research article to be published on November 21 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses non-invasive assessment of the stages of cirrhosis according to concentration of plasma serotonin. The research team, led by Dr. Dorde Æulafiæ, included in their study 30 patients with liver cirrhosis and 30 healthy controls, in whom plasma serotonin levels were determined.

The serotonergic system plays a critical role in a wide variety of physiological and behavioral processes. In the circulation, serotonin synthesized by the intestinal cells is actively incorporated and stored into platelets. Altered concentrations of circulating serotonin have been implicated in several pathologic conditions, including increased blood pressure, increased pulmonary pressure, liver cirrhosis and psychiatric disorders.

Plasma serotonin levels are significantly higher in patients with cirrhosis than in the controls and represent the degree of liver insufficiency.

Reference: Ðorðe M Æulafiæ, Duško S Mirkoviæ, Miodrag D Vukèeviæ, Jelena S Rudiæ. Plasma and platelet serotonin levels in patients with liver cirrhosis. World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(43): 5750-5753

— Article compiled by Dr. Vimmi from medical news release.

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