Serum and liver HCV RNA levels in patients with chronic hepatitis C: Correlation with clinical and histological features

L. De Moliner, P. Pontisso, G. L. De Salvo, L. Cavalletto, L. Chemello, A. Alberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background - Liver disease in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection ranges from minimal lesions to liver cirrhosis, eventually evolving to hepatocellular carcinoma. Whether and how HCV determines the different clinical and histological manifestations of the disease is not fully understood. Aims - To verify whether the amount of virus in individual patients could be related to the severity of liver injury. Patients and methods - Levels of HCV RNA were measured in serum in 96 consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis type C using a signal amplification assay. The relation between viraemia values and the corresponding vital load in the liver was assessed in a subgroup of 21 patients in whom HCV RNA was measured in serum samples and liver specimens obtained at the same time. Results - A positive correlation was observed between the amount of vital nucleic acid in the two compartments, indicating that levels of viraemia reflect the amount of virus present in the liver. Viral load did not correlate with aminotransferase activities nor with histological diagnosis, and serum and liver levels of HCV RNA were not significantly different in patients infected by the various HCV genotypes. Conclusions - Measurement of HCV replication in serum is a mirror of viral replication in the liver. The extent of replicative activity of HCV does not seem to play a role in the modulation of the associated hepatic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-860
Number of pages5
JournalGut
Volume42
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Keywords

  • BDNA assay
  • HCV RNA
  • Liver disease activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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    De Moliner, L., Pontisso, P., De Salvo, G. L., Cavalletto, L., Chemello, L., & Alberti, A. (1998). Serum and liver HCV RNA levels in patients with chronic hepatitis C: Correlation with clinical and histological features. Gut, 42(6), 856-860.