Hepatic oxidative alterations in patients with extra-hepatic cholestasis. Effect of surgical drainage

Gianluigi Vendemiale, Ignazio Grattagliano, Luigi Lupo, Vincenzo Memeo, Emanuele Altomare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: The mechanisms of liver injury in conditions of biliary obstruction are poorly understood. Hepatic oxidative injury has been observed in experimental models of cholestasis. Little is known in humans. This study aimed to gain more insights into the hepatic redox status in human cholestasis. Methods: Liver concentrations of total glutathione, protein sulfhydryls and malondialdehyde (end-product of lipid peroxidation) were measured in hepatic specimens of 12 patients with obstructive jaundice before and after the application of an external biliary drainage and in six control subjects. Results: Compared to control subjects, biliary obstructed patients showed significantly (P <0.001) lower concentrations of hepatic glutathione and protein sulfhydryls, and higher (P <0.001) levels of malondialdehyde, in the presence of comparable protein concentrations. Two-weeks after the application of external biliary drainage, cholestatic indices were significantly improved and the observed changes in glutathione, protein sulfhydryls and malondialdehyde levels, significantly decreased. Conclusions: This study shows that cholestasis is associated with a decreased protein and non-protein sulfhydryl content in the liver and with an increased lipid peroxidation. These alterations reversed almost completely after biliary drainage, indicating the cholestasis itself as the determining factor for the redox status impairment observed in the liver of patients with extra-hepatic biliary obstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-605
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Biliary drainage
  • Hepatic glutathione
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Obstructive jaundice
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protein sulfhydryl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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