Hyaluronic acid and aspartate aminotransferase levels normalized by liver function can reflect sinusoidal impairment in chronic liver disease

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Background/AimTo evaluate the relationship between hyaluronic acid/aminopyrine breath test (HA/ABT) ratio and fibrosis score in chronic hepatitis, and between HA/ABT and clinical staging (child-turcotte-pugh'score, CTP; and model for end stage liver disease, MELD) in cirrhosis, as well as to evaluate the aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/ABT in relation to the HA/ABT.MethodsWe studied 48 patients with histologically proven chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and 35 patients with compensated cirrhosis (CIR).ResultsHA/ABT and AST/ABT showed a more significant correlation with the fibrosis score than HA or ABT or AST alone in the 48 CHC patients: r=0.568 (P<0.0001), r=0.610 (P<0.0001), r=0.450 (P=0.0021), r=−0.449 (P=0.0021), and r=0.472(P=0.0012), respectively. Progressive liver damage (fibrosis 1–2 vs fibrosis 3–6 vs cirrhosis) was significantly (P<0.05) reflected by both HA/ABT (mean±SEM: 4.0±0.9 vs 18.1±4.2 vs 149.9±33.1) and AST/ABT (6.3±1.8 vs 12.7±1.6 vs 42.1±14.6). A strong relationship was found between HA/ABT and AST/ABT (r=0.755 P<0.0001). In cirrhotic patients, the most significant relationship was observed between HA/ABT and CTP r=0.483 and P=0.0049, and MELD r=0.523 and P=0.0023.ConclusionConsidering that HA levels in chronic hepatitis depend on the progressive impairment of sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC), related to progressive fibrosis, HA/ABT ratio would seem to be the most specific reflection of progressive impairment of the SEC. AST/ABT could be used as a possible surrogate of HA in identifying SEC impairment in chronic hepatitis.

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