Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 174-177

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

Department of Pathology, Transplant Research Center, Gastroenterology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Bita Geramizadeh
Department of Pathology, Transplant Research Center, Gastroenterology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, PO Box: 71345-1864
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.43274

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Background/Aims: Chronic hepatitis B is a serious global health problem. Liver biopsy is currently recommended as the gold standard for the evaluation of the degree of fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B. This procedure, however, is invasive and has potential complications. In this study, we attempted to validate the level of hyaluronic acid as a simple laboratory test to discriminate between patients with and without significant fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B. Methods: This study included 93 patients with chronic hepatitis B who had undergone percutaneous liver biopsy from 2003 to 2006. At the time of biopsy, a sample of serum was taken for the hyaluronic acid (HA) assay. Histological assessment consisted of the semiquantitative analysis of the degree of fibrosis according to the criteria proposed by the Ishak system. These findings were then compared by using statistical analysis. Results: HA levels and stage groups of fibrosis were well correlated (Spearman r = 0.945, P < 0.005). There was a significant increase in HA levels when considering S0 to S6. The mean values of HA concentrations were 59.7 10.5 ng/mL for stages 0-2, 149.4 15.9 ng/mL for stages 3-4 , and 284.5 14.5 ng/mL for the last group (stages 5-6). There were significant differences between the three groups. Serum HA levels of cases with extensive fibrosis were significantly higher than in those with mild and moderate fibrosis ( P = 0.0001, P = 0.0005, and P = 0.0001, respectively). Conclusion: Serum HA level is a precise predictor of extensive liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B. HA is well correlated with the stage of fibrosis and can reflect the severity of fibrosis. Thus, it can be used as a noninvasive test to monitor these patients.

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