Purpose - To evaluate whether Doppler sonography measurement of portal flow velocity (PFV) after glucagon injection can be useful in assessing the severity of liver damage in chronic HCV infection. Methods - Forty-five patients (32 males and 13 females; mean age 54.1 ± 14.8 years) with biochemical (raised serum ALT levels), virological (positive serum HCV RNA test) and histological (liver biopsy) evidence of chronic HCV infection were included in the study. According to hepatitis staging (degree of liver fibrosis), as assessed by Knodell histological activity index, patients were divided into three groups: group 1 (n.= 17), with no or mild fibrosis (fibrosis score: 0-1); group 2 (n. = 11), with severe fibrosis (score: 3); and group 3 (n. = 17), with liver cirrhosis (score: 4). For sonographic measurements of PFV, a Doppler ultrasound multi-purpose equipment and a convex 3.5 MHz probe were used. All patients were examined after an 8-hour fast, in supine position, 10 min before (baseline), as well as 5 and 10 min after, intravenous administration of 1 mg of glucagon chloride (Novo Nordisk). Statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA test, Bonferroni t test and Spearman rank correlation test. Results - No significant differences were found in mean basal PFV of group 1 (19.4 ± 2.4 cm/sec), group 2 (20.1 ± 3.6 cm/sec) and group 3 (17.5 ± 3.7 cm/sec) (p > 0.05). Five minutes after glucagon injection, all the three groups showed a significant increase in PFV (25.6 ± 4.8,23.7 ± 4.0 and 19.5 ± 5.0 cm/sec, respectively; p <0.05 vs baseline. The peak increase in PFV after glucagon injection was significantly higher in group 1 (7.9 ± 3.7 cm/sec; 40.7% of basal value) than in group 2 (4.5 ± 3.9 cm/sec; 22.4%) (p <0.05) and in group 3 (2.7 + 2.3 cm/sec; 15.4%) (p <0.05). A significant (p <0.001) inverse correlation was also found between the patients' fibrosis scores and peak increments of PFV induced by glucagon. Conclusions - In some patients with chronic HCV infection, Doppler sonography measurement of PFV after glucagon injection can be useful, in combination with other non invasive ultrasound investigations, both in staging of liver disease and in monitoring the progression of liver histological damage.
|Translated title of the contribution||Glucagon test for Doppler sonography measurement of portal flow in chronic HCV infections|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Infezioni in Medicina|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)