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J Gastroenterol. 1997 Apr;32(2):211-5.

Elevation of interleukin 6 levels in patients with chronic hepatitis due to hepatitis C virus.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, University of Catania, Italy.


Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine produced by a wide variety of lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues. We studied the relationship between IL-6 and the liver in an attempt to elucidate this cytokine's role in hepatitis C-induced liver inflammation. We investigated the behavior of serum IL-6 in 25 patients with chronic hepatitis C (divided into three groups depending on severity) and in 27 healthy controls. Our results showed a significant elevation (P < 0.0001) in serum IL-6 levels in the patients with chronic hepatitis C, correlated with the histological activity index (HAI) and their HCV-RNA serum levels. This rise may represent the expression of the hepatitis C virus-induced inflammatory state.

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