Increased levels of γGT suggest the presence of bile duct lesions in patients with chronic hepatitis C: Absence of influence of HCV genotype, HCV-RNA serum levels, and HGV infection on this histological damage

E. Giannini, F. Botta, A. Fasoli, P. Romagnoli, L. Mastracci, P. Ceppa, I. Comino, A. Pasini, D. Risso, R. Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Damage to bile ducts in chronic hepatitis C is a characteristic histological lesion. Moreover, the presence of abnormal levels of γGT in these patients is also a common finding. Assessing whether the presence of bile duct lesions is indicated by biochemical abnormalities or whether virological characteristics can influence their development may help in the definition of clinical-histological relationships in chronic hepatitis C. In this study we evaluated the relationships among routine biochemical parameters, serum bile acids, and pi-class glutathione S-transferase levels, and the presence of bile duct lesions in 60 patients with chronic hepatitis C. Furthermore, we assessed whether the presence of bile duct lesion might be related to HCV genotype, HCV-RNA serum levels, and positivity for HGV-RNA. We found that γGT was the only parameter related to the presence of bile duct lesions. Although a trend towards higher serum bile acids and pi-class glutathione S-transferase levels was observed in patients with bile duct lesions, this trend did not reach statistical significance. Different HCV genotypes and RNA levels, and HGV-RNA positivity did not seem to influence the presence of bile duct damage. In conclusion we found that γGT levels point out the presence of bile duct lesions in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Since we observed a different pattern of alteration of γGT, serum bile acids, and pi-class glutathione S-transferase, we suggest that these various biochemical alterations reflect a more complex damage to bile duct structures, which is not likely represented by the common assessment of bile duct lesions. Viral factors such as HCV genotype and RNA levels as well as HGV-RNA positivity are probably not the main cause of this histological damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-529
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Bile duct damage
  • Gamma glutamyltranspeptidase
  • HCV
  • HGV
  • Pi-glutathione S-transferase
  • Serum bile acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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