Improvement of Molar Ratio of Branched-Chain Amino Acids to Tyrosine (BTR) Associated with Liver Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients Treated with Interferon-α

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The molar ratio of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) to tyrosine (BTR), which has recently been possible to easily determine by an enzymatic method, can be clinically used as a substitute for that of BCAA to aromatic amino acids (AAA). We used this method to investigate the diagnostic implications of serum BTR in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with interferon-α. There was a good correlation between BTR and staging (fibrosis) scores both before and after treatment. BTR increased significantly at 24 months after treatment in the responder group (P < 0.01). Moreover, a significant increase in BTR was observed in patients with improved staging (P = 0.015), but not grading (necroinflammatory), scores. BTR in chronic hepatitis C patients seems to be reflected by the extent of liver fibrosis, and, in the responder group, it can be improved, together with liver fibrosis, by interferon-α treatment.

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