BACKGROUND/AIMS: Susceptibility to organ damage induced by alcohol may be related to inherited variations (polymorphisms) in alcohol-metabolizing enzymes, or polymorphisms affecting cytokines. The aim of this study was to compare the genotype and allelic frequencies of ADH2, ADH3, ALDH2, cytochrome P450-2E1, IL-1, IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in patients with alcoholic pancreatitis and alcoholic liver cirrhosis with those of controls. METHODS: We determined the polymorphism of genes of the above-mentioned alcohol-metabolizing enzymes and cytokines in 29 alcoholic pancreatitis patients (AP), 22 alcoholic liver cirrhosis patients (LC) and 100 healthy blood donors (control). The genotypes were characterized by restriction fragment length polymorphism after amplification of genomic DNA by polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: The allelic frequency of CYP2E1*c2 was significantly different in three groups (AP: LC: Control=0.224: 0.136: 0.320, p<0.05). There was no significant difference in the other genotypes or allelic frequencies of the three groups. The allelic frequencies of CYP2E1*c2 and ALDH2*2 were more frequent in the control than patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis (LC: Control=0.136: 0.320, p<0.05, LC: Control= 0.114: 0.265, p<0.05). Allelic frequencies of ADH2 was statisitcally different between LC and control (ADH2*1; LC: Control=0.727: 0.495, ADH2*2; 0.227: 0.360, ADH2*3; 0.046: 0.145, p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in the frequencies of genotype and allele of enzymes and cytokines among the three groups. However, frequency of ADH2*1 was significantly higher and those of CYP2E1*c2 and ALDH2*2 were significantly lower than LC group than control.