Platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) are associated with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection

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Abstract

Objective

This retrospective study aimed to investigate the associations between the platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and disease severity in patients with chronic HBV infection-related liver disease (CHB).

Methods

Patients with CHB were retrospectively identified. Clinical data for 172 HBV-infected patients and 40 healthy controls were collected from the electronic patient medical record system database of our hospital.

Results

HBV-related-compensated-cirrhosis patients (HBV-CC patients) had a significantly lower mean PLR than did other patients (P < 0.001). HBV-related-decompensated-cirrhosis patients (HBV-DC patients) had a significantly higher mean NLR than did any other patients (P < 0.001). In the entire cohort of CHB patients, significant correlations were observed between the PLR and both serum HBV DNA (r = 0.264, P < 0.001) and serum HBeAg (r = 0.240, P = 0.002). The PLR was significantly correlated with serum HBV DNA in both HBV-CC patients (r = − 0.116, P = 0.044) and HBV-DC patients (r = 0.456, P = 0.008). In HBV-Active-Carriers patients (HBV-AC patients), the PLR was positively correlated with serum HBeAg level (r = 0.321, P = 0.023). In HBV-DC patients, the NLR was positively correlated with serum HBeAg level (r = 0.372, P = 0.033). In the logistic regression prediction model, a predictive probability cutoff of 0.392 had the highest sensitivity and specificity (sensitivity, 91.2%; specificity, 84.0%) in distinguishing between HBV-CC and HBV-AC patients. A NLR cutoff value of 2.94 had the highest sensitivity and specificity (sensitivity, 81.8%; specificity, 88.2%) in distinguishing between HBV-DC and HBV-CC patients.

Conclusion

The PLR and NLR partially reflect the amounts of serum HBV DNA and serum HBeAg levels circulating in CHB patients. The logistic regression model including the PLR and age most accurately distinguished between HBV-CC and HBV-AC patients. The NLR may be useful for follow-up in HBV-CC patients to predict disease progression. In summary, the PLR and NLR provided a supplementary means for effectively managing chronic HBV infection and disease.

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