, Volume 61, Issue 10, pp 1101-1106
Date: 21 Jun 2012

Inflammation biomarkers in chronic hepatitis C: association with liver histopathology, HCV genotype and cryoglobulinemia

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This work investigated the profile of inflammation biomarkers in patients with chronic hepatitis C and its association with liver fibrosis, hepatic necroinflammatory activity, viral genotypes and cryoglobulinemia.

Subjects and methods

Seventy-eight untreated patients were studied. Biomarker levels were determined by immunoassays, cryoglobulinemia by cryoprecipitation and liver histopathology investigated using METAVIR scores.


Decreased levels of α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), C3 and haptoglobin (Hp) were observed in the patients (P < 0.0001). Increased α1-antitrypsin (P < 0.01) and ferritin (P < 0.0001) levels were found in this group, but C-reactive protein (CRP) and C4 levels were unaltered. Alanine aminotransferase inversely correlated with Hp (P < 0.01) and AGP (P = 0.01), whereas it was directly correlated with ferritin (P < 0.05) and AGP (P < 0.0001). The levels of CRP, C3 and C4 were lower in the patients with hepatic necroinflammatory activity (P < 0.05). Patients with advanced fibrosis had low levels of Hp and AGP (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Neither infection with different viral genotypes nor cryoglobulinemia caused an alteration in biomarker levels.


Chronic hepatitis C virus infection alters the levels of some biomarkers, which are mainly observed in patients with liver fibrosis and hepatic necroinflammatory activity.

Responsible Editor: Kumar Visvanathan.