Platelets-to-lymphocyte ratio is a good predictor of liver fibrosis and insulin resistance in hepatitis C virus-related liver disease

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Abstract

Background

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global health problem that is complicated by liver fibrosis and insulin resistance (IR).

Aim

The aim of this study was to validate neutrophils-to-lymphocytes ratio (NLR) and platelets-to-lymphocytes ratio (PLR) as indirect biomarkers of liver fibrosis and IR in HCV patients.

Patients and methods

One hundred and fifty patients were enrolled. Physical examination, BMI, liver function tests, serum creatinine, complete blood count, serum HCV RNA count by PCR, and abdominal ultrasonography were performed. Transient elastography measurement using FibroScan was performed. Patients were classified into those with mild fibrosis (F1–F3) and significant fibrosis (F4). IR was defined as homeostasis model assessment of IR more than 2. NLR and PLR were calculated.

Results

The average age of the patients was 47.21±10.51 years, mainly men (n=119; 79.3%), and 87.3% (n=131) had IR and 44.7% (n=67) had significant fibrosis. PLR was lower in patients with IR (74.95±37.90 vs. 94.71±31.45; P=0.032) unlike the NLR, which was comparable (P>0.05). Patients with significant fibrosis had lower PLR (66.43±39.38 vs. 86.35±33.85; P=0.001) unlike NLR (P>0.05). PLR (cutoff≥77.47) had 78.9% sensitivity, 60.3% specificity, 22.4% positive predictive value, and 95.2% negative predictive value for non-IR (P=0.008). At a cutoff of at least 63.71, PLR had 73.5% sensitivity, 61.2% specificity, 70.1% positive predictive value, and 65.1% negative predictive value for nonsignificant fibrosis (P=0.001). Age and PLR (odds ratio=0.99; 95% confidence interval=0.976–0.999) were predictors of IR, whereas age, total bilirubin, serum albumin, liver stiffness, and PLR (odds ratio=0.98; 95% confidence interval=0.974–0.994) were predictors of significant fibrosis.

Conclusion

PLR is useful in distinguishing the patients with significant fibrosis or IR unlike NLR.

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