ABSTRACT: Intercellular adhesion molecule-I (ICAM-I) is a member of the immunoglobulin supergene family. It is expressed on the surface membrane of cells of multiple lineages at sites of inflammation. A soluble form of ICAM (sICAM-I) comprising the five extracellular Ig-like domains of ICAM-I has been detected in human serum and has been found to be increased in a variety of acute and chronic liver disorders. However, little is known about sICAM-I levels in children with chronic liver disease. Therefore, we measured sICAM-I in 23 children with chronic hepatitis, 14 children with cirrhosis, and 10 age- and sex-matched normal children by commercially available ELISA. We also correlated the sICAM-I levels with the histological activity index (HAI) score as determined from liver biopsies. Patients with chronic hepatitis had higher sICAM-I levels compared to controls (723 +/- 272 ng/ml vs 282 +/- 43 ng/ml, mean +/- SD; P < 0.05). sICAM-I levels were also higher in patients with cirrhosis compared to controls (630 +/- 218 ng, mean +/- SD; P < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference between sICAM levels in patients with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. A significant correlation was found between the ICAM-I level and the histological activity index score in patients with chronic hepatitis (r = 0.58; P < 0.001) and in patients with cirrhosis (r = 0.7; P < 0.001). We also found that by using the cutoff level of 346 ng/ml, sICAM-I can be used as a screening test with high specificity (100%) and sensitivity (94%) to differentiate children with chronic liver disease from normal children. We conclude that sICAM is increased in children with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis compared to controls. The degree of elevation correlates with the HAI score. sICAM may be used as a marker of the disease activity and may provide diagnostic and prognostic information in children with chronic liver disease. However, this needs to be further studied.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 06/2002; 47(6):1206-8. · 2.12 Impact Factor