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J Hepatol. 2007 Apr;46(4):620-7. Epub 2007 Jan 24.

Evaluation of serum biomarkers of fibrosis and injury in Egyptian patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt.



We evaluated whether surrogate serum biomarkers for liver injury are comparable to liver biopsy in Egyptian patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.


Two hundred and twenty Egyptian patients, 91% infected with genotype-4 HCV, undergoing liver biopsy during evaluation for interferon/ribavirin therapy.


Liver biopsy scored by the Ishak method was compared to biochemical tests, platelet count and two fibrosis biomarkers: hyaluronic acid (HA) and YKL-40. Univariate and logistic regression analyses determined independent predictors of fibrotic, inflammatory, and fatty changes. Biomarkers were evaluated for ability to differentiate between severe fibrosis/cirrhosis and no/mild fibrosis.


Although increasing age, HA, YKL-40, AST, reduced platelet count, and AST and HA/platelet count ratios were associated with fibrosis by univariate analysis, the other variables were not significant after controlling for HA (p=0.0001) and age (p=0.004). Although age and some biomarkers were associated with inflammation, none remained significant after controlling for fibrosis. YKL-40 (p=0.04) and aspartate aminotransferase (p=0.05) remained associated with steatosis after controlling for fibrosis.


In Egyptians with chronic HCV, young patients with low levels of HA are at very low risk of fibrosis. This can limit the number of liver biopsies to those whose clinical findings conflict with the biomarker results.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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