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J Hepatol. 2003 Feb;38(2):223-9.

Histopathological study of chronic hepatitis B and C: a comparison of two scoring systems.

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Department of Pathology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore 632004, India.



Several histological scoring systems are used to evaluate chronic viral hepatitis. This study was undertaken to determine the correlation between the Ishak system (modified histological activity index, HAI) and the METAVIR system, in Indian patients with chronic viral hepatitis.


Liver biopsies from 127 patients with chronic viral hepatitis B or C were examined, and scored using the Ishak and METAVIR systems, and weighted kappa analysis of correlation was done. Correlation of necroinflammatory activity with serum transaminase levels was analyzed, and prevalence of specific histological features compared in hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HCV biopsies.


HBV infection accounted for 64.6% of cases, and HCV for 35.4%; 91.3% of patients had minimal or mild hepatitis. The necroinflammatory scores of the Ishak and METAVIR systems correlated moderately well (weighted kappa 0.627), while there was excellent correlation with regard to fibrosis (weighted kappa 0.998). Similar concordance was found when HBV and HCV cases were analyzed separately. HAI showed poor correlation with serum transaminases (weighted kappa 0.21). Micronodular cirrhosis, lymphoid aggregates, bile duct damage, bile ductular proliferation and steatosis were significantly more common in HCV biopsies compared to HBV.


Concordance between Ishak and METAVIR scoring systems is good for necroinflammatory change, and excellent for fibrotic change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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