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Hum Pathol. 2002 Dec;33(12):1170-4.

Portal lymphocytic infiltrate in alcoholic liver disease.

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  • 1Service Central d'Anatomie Pathologique, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


The aim of this study was to estimate the frequency of lymphocytic portal infiltrate in human alcoholic liver disease and to determine whether it was correlated with liver injury. This retrospective study included 200 consecutive patients referred between February 1996 and March 2001 to the Service Central d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie at Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France. The inclusions criteria were as follows: (1) daily alcohol consumption greater than 40 g; (2) appropriate serological exclusion of B and C viral hepatitis; and (3) available liver biopsy specimen. Autoimmune hepatitis was excluded in all patients with the aid of a consensus scoring system. Forty percent of the patients had a predominantly lymphocytic portal infiltrate. On stepwise logistic regression of the predictive value of the 5 variables (gender, age, daily alcohol consumption, steatosis, and portal and septal fibrosis index), only 2 statistically independent predictors of predominant lymphocytic portal infiltrate were identified: portal and septal fibrosis index (P <.05) and age (P <.05). In conclusion, predominantly portal lymphocytic infiltrate occurs frequently in alcoholic liver disease, even in patients without serological markers of B and C viral hepatitis. Moreover, after adjustment for age, portal and septal fibrosis index remains significantly associated with the presence of a predominantly lymphocytic portal infiltrate. These results suggest that lymphocytes may play a role in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced liver fibrosis.

Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

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