Soluble adhesion molecules correlate with liver inflammation and fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C treated with interferon-α

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



In chronic hepatitis C the relation of circulating adhesion molecules to disease features before, during and after therapy has not been completely established.


To analyse the basal levels of circulating adhesins and the changes induced by interferon in these patients.


We studied, using ELISA assays, the serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) in 52 patients with chronic hepatitis C on entry, prior to finalizing a 6-month course of interferon-α therapy and at the end of the follow-up. Correlations with clinical, virological and histological features, including inflammation and fibrosis, were calculated by Pearson's r-test.


Liver necroinflammation was more closely related to sICAM-1 (r = 0.54, P = 0.0000) than to sVCAM-1 (r = 0.32, P = 0.02). Fibrosis, both as serum pIIIP and histological scoring, was, however, clearly related to sVCAM-1 (1071 ± 291 in patients who scored 0-2 vs. 1870 ± 458 in patients who scored 3-4; P = 0.0000). Severe fibrosis was never found below a sVCAM-1 cut-off threshold of 1300 ng/mL. Levels of both adhesins did not correlate with viraemia and were comparable among 1b and non-1b genotypes. Sustained response to interferon was significantly related to low viraemia (P = 0.03), non-1b type (P = 0.04) and low sICAM-1 (P = 0.04), but not to sVCAM-1. On finalizing therapy, patients with normal transaminases had reduced sICAM-1 (P = 0.0005), but not sVCAM-1 levels.


In chronic hepatitis C, sICAM-1 was a marker of liver necroinflammation while sVCAM-1 reflected fibrosis. Both low sVCAM-1 and pIIIP serum concentrations were strictly linked, suggesting that measuring sVCAM-1 could give information on the degree of liver fibroplasia.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles