[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The degree of liver fibrosis and inflammation is important in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in terms of therapy as well as prognosis. To obviate the need of liver biopsy, serum markers such as procollagen I, III and hyaluronic acid have been proposed but were found to be inaccurate. Controversy still exists regarding the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) as valid markers of liver fibrosis.
To assess liver and serum MMP-2 and -9 as markers of fibrosis and inflammation in patients with CHC.
Thirty-five CHC patients and 8 non-hepatitis C patients with normal liver enzymes underwent liver biopsy. Activities of inflammation and fibrosis stage were determined by the Desmet score on a scale of 0-4. Serum and liver tissue MMP-2 and -9 activities were measured by zymography using substrate impregnated gels.
Patient and control groups were similar in terms of age (50.8 +/- 15.1 vs. 50.6 +/- 15.2) and male/female ratio (18/17 vs. 4/4). In serum, MMP-9 activity was increased in patients compared to controls (308 +/- 110 vs. 163.5 +/- 35 , p < 0.05). In liver tissue, MMP-9 was also higher in patients than in controls (21 +/- 4.5 vs. 17.1 +/- 5.1, p < 0.05), whereas MMP-2 did not differ between patients and controls. Serum MMP-9 values correlated with liver histologic inflammatory grade (290.4 +/- 83 in grade 2 vs. 562.1 +/- 128 in grade 3, p < 0.05) but not with fibrosis stage. The highest rising in serum MMP-9 levels was observed between grade 2 to grade 3 and was superior to the rising in serum transaminase levels, indicating its advantage in assessing the progression of disease activity. No correlation between liver MMP activities and liver fibrosis or inflammation was observed.
Serum MMPs, in particular MMP-9, can serve as markers of disease activity rather than fibrosis stage in chronic HCV patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural history, epidemiology, and histopathological features of chronic hepatis C (CHC) are well established in adults. Data on histopathological findings of CHC in children are still limited and controversial. We aimed to evaluate the histopathological features of CHC in children in Israel. We reviewed, retrospectively, 20 liver specimens from 20 children with CHC for inflammation and fibrosis, hepatocyte necrosis, fatty changes, cholestasis, bile duct damage, sinusoidal lymphocytosis, and glycogen storage. The most common histological feature was portal inflammation (95%) and lobular inflammation (70%). Sinusoidal lymphocytosis was present in 85% and glycogen storage vacuoles in 40%. Most of the children (80%) had no fibrosis, 15% had mild fibrosis and 5% moderate fibrosis. Advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis was not found. No correlation was found between the age at biopsy and any of the histological parameters. Our study shows that children with CHC have a different phenotype of liver disease with slowly progressive natural history irrespective of duration of the disease.
Fetal and Pediatric Pathology 01/2004; 23(4):231-9. · 0.40 Impact Factor