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Regul Pept. 2012 Nov 10;179(1-3):10-4. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2012.08.007. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Connective tissue growth factor level is increased in patients with liver cirrhosis but is not associated with complications or extent of liver injury.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, Regensburg University Hospital, Regensburg, Germany.


Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a profibrotic protein whose systemic levels are increased in liver cirrhosis. Here, association of CTGF with stages of liver injury and complications of cirrhotic liver disease has been analyzed in patients with different aetiologies of hepatic injury. CTGF is significantly increased in portal venous serum (PVS), hepatic venous serum (HVS) and systemic venous serum (SVS) of 46 patients with liver cirrhosis compared to eight liver-healthy controls. In patients´ blood samples CTGF in HVS is about 6% higher than PVS levels indicating that CTGF produced in the liver is released to the circulation. CTGF is not associated with stages of liver cirrhosis defined by CHILD-PUGH or MELD score nor with secondary complications of portal hypertension (varices, ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis). Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) induces CTGF synthesis in hepatocytes and a positive association of systemic TGFβ1 and SVS and HVS CTGF is found. Three months after placing transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) hepatic venous pressure gradient is reduced whereas CHILD-PUGH score, TGFβ1 and CTGF are not altered in serum of 15 patients. Current data show that the cirrhotic liver releases little CTGF but SVS, HVS and PVS CTGF levels are not associated with residual liver function and complications of cirrhosis.

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