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BMC Gastroenterol. 2008 Nov 14;8:53. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-8-53.

Plasma Pentraxin3 is a novel marker for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-9 Fuku-ura, Yokohama, Japan.



The changes in the liver in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) range over a wide spectrum, extending from steatosis to steatohepatitis (NASH). However it has remained difficult to differentiate between NASH and non-progressive NAFLD on the basis of the clinical findings alone.


In this study we investigated the clinical usefulness of plasma Pentraxin3 (PTX3) levels to predict NASH. Plasma PTX3 was measured in 70 patients with histologically verified NAFLD (28 with non-NASH and 42 with NASH) and 10 healthy control subjects.


The plasma PTX3 level was significantly higher in the NASH cases than in the non-NASH cases (p = 0.0021) and control subjects (p = 0.045). And the plasma PTX3 level was significantly higher in the stages 3-4 NAFLD cases than in the stages 0-2 NAFLD cases (p < 0.0001). The PTX3 values were closely correlated with the stages of liver fibrosis (p < 0.0001, Kruskal-Wallis test). To detect NASH compared with non-NASH, the area under the curve for plasma PTX3 were 0.755, and to detect stages 3-4 NAFLD compared with stages 0-2 NAFLD, the area under the curve for plasma PTX3 were 0.850.


This is the first study to demonstrate consistent and profound elevation of plasma PTX3 levels in NASH in comparison with non-NASH. The results suggest that plasma PTX3 levels may not only be laboratory values that differentiate NASH from non-NASH, but marker of the severity of hepatic fibrosis in NASH.

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