Aims and objectives
It is well known that hepatitis C virus (HCV),
can lead to steatotic change in hepatocytes.
the proportion of chronic hepatitis C patients with steatosis is considerable,
suggesting a direct role of HCV in the intrahepatic accumulation of triglycerides [1,
steatosis has been recognized as one of the factors capable of influencing both liver fibrosis progression and the rate of response to interferon–alpha–based therapy .
percutaneous liver biopsy...
Methods and materials
Inclusion of patients This was a prospective,
institutional review board approved study and patient’s enrollment was performed at the Unit of Infectious Diseases of our Institution.
From January 1st,
through December 31st,
81 consecutive untreated patients with chronic viral C hepatitis were enrolled into the study after giving written informed consent.
All patients were untreated (i.e.
not under interferon–based therapies) at the time of enrollment.
Four patients were excluded due to severe motion/respiratory artifacts in their MRIs,
precluding an accurate measurement of PDFF.
The resulting cohort of 77 patients with chronic C hepatitis included 43/77 (55.8%) males and 34/77 (44.2%) females with a mean age of 51.31±11.27 (from 18 to 81) years and a mean BMI of 22.39±2.27 (from 18.43 to 27).
Seventy–one/77 patients (92.2%) presented detectable serum HCV–RNA levels (above the detection threshold of 15 IU/mL of our method),
Liver biopsy with histological visualization of hepatocellular fat vacuoles remains the reference method in order to determine the grade of steatosis in chronic liver diseases,
but it is an invasive procedure,
which can study only a small portion of the liver (i.e.
1/50,000 of the total volume) [4,
Discomfort and bleeding are well known procedure–related complications.
In addition to sampling errors,
routine histological examination is semi–quantitative,
1: Negro F.
Mechanisms and significance of liver steatosis in hepatitis C virus infection.
World J Gastroenterol.
2006 Nov 14;12(42):6756-65.
PubMed PMID: 17106922.
2: Asselah T,
Steatosis in chronic hepatitis C: why does it really matter? Gut.
PubMed PMID: 16344578; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1856395.
3: Adinolfi LE,
Steatosis accelerates the progression of...