Zieve's Syndrome

Zieve's syndrome is a condition that is associated with chronic alcoholism. It is frequently encountered in hospitalized alcoholics who have suddenly stopped to drink alcohol.


The condition is caused by the release of fat from the liver and breakdown of red blood cells as a result of sudden stop of excessive alcohol consumption.


The patient suffers from anemia and jaundice. Anemia is caused by disintegration of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia). Jaundice is based on impaired liver function and it is also a result of excessive release of bilirubin from disintegrated red blood cells. In blood tests, there are usually high levels of fats, decreased number of red blood cells and elevated liver enzymes. The main patient's complaints include abdominal pain and loss of appetite.


The diagnosis is done from objective information about alcoholism and blood test with the above-mentioned abnormalities.


The basic therapy includes bed rest, adequate food intake, hydration and vitamin supplementation. The patient usually recovers from the symptoms very quickly.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Contact: jiri.stefanek@seznam.cz
 Sources: basic text sources