Research Article

Glutamate dehydrogenase: a reliable marker of liver cell necrosis in the alcoholic.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: (Published 10 December 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:1508
  1. L Van Waes,
  2. C S Lieber


    The usefulness of blood enzyme determinations as markers of liver necrosis was tested in 100 alcoholics who underwent biopsy during clinical investigation. Mean values of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), serum aspartate and alanine transferase (SGOT and SGPT), ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCT), and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (gamma-GTP) tended to rise with increasing liver cell necrosis, though values of SGOT, SGPT, OCT, and gamma-GTP showed considerable overlap between the 32 patients with histologically proved hepatitis and the 68 without. By contrast, GDH values showed virtually no overlap between patients with and without hepatitis, and a value of two and a half times the normal value discriminated between the two groups. Because of its easy determination and its reliable reflection of liver cell necrosis the GDH concentration should be estimated routinely in alcoholic patients.