Viral Hepatitis
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2005. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Nov 7, 2005; 11(41): 6422-6428
Published online Nov 7, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i41.6422
Changes in lipid metabolism in chronic hepatitis C
Katalin Jármay, Gizella Karácsony, András Nagy, Zsuzsa Schaff
Katalin Jármay, Gizella Karácsony, First Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University, Szeged, Hungary
András Nagy, County Hospital, Department of Cardiology, Kecskemét, Hungary
Zsuzsa Schaff, 2nd Department of Pathology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Supported by the grant from the Hungarian Ministry of Education, No.NKFP-1A/0023/2002 National Research Development Projects and grant from the Hungarian National Scientific Research Fund, No.OTKA T037838
Correspondence to: Dr. Katalin Jármay, First Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University, Szeged, PO Box 469, H-6701, Hungary.
Telephone: +36-62-545-189 Fax: +36-62-545-185
Received: October 29, 2004
Revised: November 15, 2004
Accepted: November 19, 2004
Published online: November 7, 2005

AIM: To investigate the relationship between certain biochemical parameters of lipid metabolism in the serum and steatosis in the liver.

METHODS: The grade of steatosis (0-3) and histological activity index (HAI, 0-18) in liver biopsy specimens were correlated with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in 142 patients with chronic hepatitis C (CH-C), and 28 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) without hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The serum parameters were further correlated with 1 797 age and sex matched control patients without any liver diseases.

RESULTS: Steatosis was detected in 90 out of 142 specimens (63%) with CH-C. The ALT levels correlated with the grade of steatosis, both in patients with CH-C and NAFLD (P<0.01). Inserting the score values of steatosis as part of the HAI, correlation with the ALT level (P<0.00001) was found. The triglyceride and cholesterol levels were significantly lower in patients with CH-C (with and without steatosis), compared to the NAFLD group and to the virus-free control groups.

CONCLUSION: Our study confirms the importance of liver steatosis in CH-C which correlates with lower lipid levels in the sera. Inclusion of the score of steatosis into HAI, in case of CH-C might reflect the alterations in the liver tissue more precisely, while correlating with the ALT enzyme elevation.

Keywords: Lipid metabolism, Chronic hepatitis C, NAFLD