Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 5120760, 7 pages
Research Article

Albumin Binding Function: The Potential Earliest Indicator for Liver Function Damage

1Department of Liver Surgery, Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and PUMC, Beijing, China
2State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China

Received 6 July 2016; Revised 13 October 2016; Accepted 16 October 2016

Academic Editor: Amosy M’Koma

Copyright © 2016 Penglei Ge et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Currently there is no indicator that can evaluate actual liver lesion for early stages of viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and cirrhosis. Aim of this study was to investigate if albumin binding function could better reflect liver function in these liver diseases. Methods. An observational study was performed on 193 patients with early NAFLD, viral hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Cirrhosis patients were separated according to Child-Pugh score into A, B, and C subgroup. Albumin metal ion binding capacity (Ischemia-modified albumin transformed, IMAT) and fatty acid binding capacity (total binding sites, TBS) were detected. Results. Both IMAT and TBS were significantly decreased in patients with NAFLD and early hepatitis. In hepatitis group, they declined prior to changes of liver enzymes. IMAT was significantly higher in cirrhosis Child-Pugh class A group than hepatitis patients and decreased in Child-Pugh class B and class C patients. Both IMAT/albumin and TBS/albumin decreased significantly in hepatitis and NAFLD group patients. Conclusions. This is the first study to discover changes of albumin metal ion and fatty acid binding capacities prior to conventional biomarkers for liver damage in early stage of liver diseases. They may become potential earliest sensitive indicators for liver function evaluation.