Hepatic Steatosis in Genotype 4 Chronic Hepatitis C Is Mainly Because of Metabolic Factors

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Hepatic steatosis is considered to be mostly associated with viral factors in genotype 3 and metabolic factors in genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C, while there are rather few data for genotype 4. We determined the parameters associated with steatosis in 350 chronic hepatitis C patients, focusing on genotype 4.


Histological lesions were evaluated according to Ishak's classification and steatosis was semiquantitatively graded. Several patient characteristics on the biopsy day were also evaluated.


Steatosis was present in 73% of patients without significant differences among genotypes. Moderate/severe steatosis was more frequent in genotype 3 than 4 (44%vs 26%, P= 0.025) and similar between genotype 4 and 1 patients. Moderate/severe steatosis was associated with body mass index (BMI) in genotype 4 (P= 0.023) and gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase in genotype 3 patients (P= 0.044). In 150 nondiabetic patients with BMI ≤25 kg/m2, moderate/severe steatosis was present in 15, 40, and 11% of genotype 1, 3, and 4 patients, respectively, (P= 0.005) and was independently associated only with genotype 3. In multivariate analysis, steatosis grade or moderate/severe steatosis was independently associated with higher BMI, genotype 3, and lower cholesterol.


Moderate or severe steatosis is significantly less frequent in genotype 4 than 3 chronic hepatitis C patients and similar between genotype 4 and 1. In nondiabetic, nonoverweight patients, moderate or severe steatosis is present in only 10–15% of genotype 4 or 1 compared with 40% of genotype 3 patients. Thus, hepatic steatosis in genotype 4 is mostly associated with metabolic factors, similar to those in genotype 1.

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