Published online Nov 21, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i43.5750
Revised: July 31, 2007
Accepted: October 19, 2007
Published online: November 21, 2007
AIM: To analyze the relationship between plasma and platelet serotonin levels and the degree of liver insufficiency.
METHODS: The prospective study included 30 patients with liver cirrhosis and 30 healthy controls. The degree of liver failure was assessed according to the Child-Pugh classification. Platelet and platelet poor plasma serotonin levels were determined.
RESULTS: The mean plasma serotonin level was higher in liver cirrhosis patients than in healthy subjects (215.0 ± 26.1 vs 63.1 ± 18.1 nmol/L; P < 0.0001). The mean platelet serotonin content was not significantly different in patients with liver cirrhosis compared with healthy individuals (4.8 ± 0.6; 4.2 ± 0.3 nmol/platelet; P > 0.05). Plasma serotonin levels were significantly higher in Child-Pugh grade A/B than in grade C patients (246.8 ± 35.0 vs 132.3 ± 30.7 nmol/L; P < 0.05). However, platelet serotonin content was not significantly different between Child-Pugh grade C and grade A/B (4.6 ± 0.7 vs 5.2 ± 0.8 nmol/platelet; P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Plasma serotonin levels are significantly higher in patients with cirrhosis than in the controls and represent the degree of liver insufficiency. In addition, platelet poor plasma serotonin estimation is a better marker for liver insufficiency than platelet serotonin content.