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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67-75

Serum hyaluronic acid as a noninvasive marker of hepatic fibrosis in chronic hepatitis c patients


1 Department of Tropical Medicine, Al-Azhar University for Girls, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Al-Azhar University for Girls, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Eman E Ahmed Ibrahem
Department of Tropical Medicine, AL-Azhar University for Girls, Cairo
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1687-1693.192654

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Background Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are often asymptomatic with few clinical signs of liver disease. Recognition of the presence of fibrosis or cirrhosis is difficult without liver biopsy, but with the availability of effective treatments, such as interferon, and the potential for progression to hepatoma in some cases, an accurate measure of the stage of disease is important. Serum hyaluronic acid (HA) has been identified as a potential marker of fibrosis or cirrhosis. Aim of the work The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum level of HA as a noninvasive marker of hepatic fibrosis in comparison with liver biopsy and indirect serum fibrosis markers such as AST/ALT ratio and aspartate transaminase to platelet ratio index (APRI) in chronic HCV patients. Patients and methods Our patients were classified into three groups: group 1 included 20 patients with mild hepatic fibrosis (F1 stage); group 2 included 20 patients with moderate hepatic fibrosis (F2 stage); and group 3 included 20 patients with marked hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis (F3 and F4 stages). The control group included 20 normal volunteers. Serum HA level evaluation, liver function tests, and complete blood count were carried out for all groups, whereas liver biopsy was performed only for patients to determine the stage of liver fibrosis. Results There was a highly significant increase in serum HA level in group 2 and group 3 in comparison with the control group and a significant increase in group 1 in comparison with the control group. However, there was highly significant increase in group 3 in comparison with group 1 and group 2 and a significant increase in group 2 in comparison with group 1. The cutoff point for HA level was greater than 42.18 ng/l to discriminate between the patient and the control group, with a sensitivity of 91.7% and a specificity of 95.0% for HA. The cutoff point for HA level was greater than 81.68 ng/l to discriminate between group 1 (mild fibrosis) and group 2 (moderate fibrosis), with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 70%. The cutoff point for HA level to discriminate between group 2 (moderate fibrosis) and group 3 (severe fibrosis and cirrhosis) was greater than 167.98 ng/l, with a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 80%. There was a significant positive correlation between serum HA level and APRI. Conclusion HA is a promising reliable simple noninvasive marker for assessing liver fibrosis in HCV-infected patients with high sensitivity and specificity. There was a positive correlation between serum HA level with stages of hepatic fibrosis and APRI.


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