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Dig Dis Sci. 1994 Feb;39(2):234-9.

Hepatitis C virus genotypes are not responsible for development of serious liver disease.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan.


Although hepatitis C virus (HCV) is known to have at least four kinds of genotypes, no clear relationship has yet been established between the genotype and the severity of liver disease. Therefore, we determined HCV genotypes in sera of 251 Japanese patients with type C chronic liver disease, using polymerase chain reactions with six independent primers. One set of primers and a probe derived from 5'-noncoding region of HC-J1 was supposed to detect all four genotypes, while the other five were devised to detect each of the genotypes. Among the patients, the major genotype was type II (69%) and the second most common was type III (18%). Type IV was found in 7%, while none had type I genotype. There was no significant difference in the distribution of any genotype among different stages of liver disease, although the ratio of type II to type III tended to be higher in the group of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma than in the chronic hepatitis group (5.5 vs 3.0). The amounts of HCV RNA were significantly greater in patients with type II (P < 0.001) compared with those with types III and IV. However, HCV concentrations of each genotype were not associated with the disease status. These results suggest that HCV genotypes are unlikely to be responsible for the development of more serious liver disease.

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