The different isoforms of transferrin have been quantified by isoelectric focusing in the sera of psoriasis patients with and without a history of abusing alcohol. In both male and female psoriasis subjects abusing alcohol, there were significant increases in the 2-sialylated forms by comparison to the control subjects. Psoriasis patients who had no evidence of alcohol abuse had similar profile for the isoforms of transferrin to that of the controls. Other groups of patients with alcohol-induced tissue damage, i.e. liver, brain or muscle, used as positive controls, similarly showed significant increases in the 2-sialylated forms, by comparison to controls. These results substantiate the current use of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin as a sensitive marker of alcohol abuse, particularly in subjects not drinking in excess of 60 g of ethanol/day but showing alcohol-related psoriasis.

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Alcohol and Alcoholism
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hoefkens, P., Higgins, E. M., Ward, R., & van Eijk, H. (1997). Isoforms of transferrin in psoriasis patients abusing alcohol. Alcohol and Alcoholism. Retrieved from