Association of Serum Lipids with Hepatic Steatosis, Stage of Liver Fibrosis and Viral Load in Chronic Hepatitis C OC15-OC20
Dr. Ivan Valkov,
20, Krushevo St., 4030, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Introduction: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) relies on host lipids for its life cycle contributing to lipid abnormalities and hepatic steatosis. Disease progression is influenced by viral factors interacting with host immune and metabolic pathways. The significance of serum lipids for Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) assessment is not clearly established yet.
Aim: Our aim was to investigate serum lipids’ association with stage of liver fibrosis, steatosis and genotypes in patients with CHC.
Materials and Methods: A total of 112 CHC patients (54 male, 58 female, aged 48.6±13.7 years) were studied - 98 genotype 1 (G1) and 14 genotype 3 (G3). Liver cirrhosis (F4) was diagnosed in 31 cases. Steatosis was present in 75 of all patients on ultrasound. Liver biopsy was done in 65 patients and histology showed steatosis in 28, stages of fibrosis (F1-F3) in 56 and F4 in 9 patients (METAVIR). Laboratory panel included complete blood count, liver tests and serum lipid levels (mmol/l) with Friedewald equation estimations. Indirect noninvasive fibrosis scores FIB-4, Aspartate aminotransferase to Platelet Ratio Index (APRI) and Forns index were calculated. HCV RNA was quantified by RT-PCR. Statistical analysis included Spearman’s rho, Mann-Whitney U test, Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve.
Results: Total Cholesterol (TCh) (p=0.002) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) (p=0.003) in G1 patients were higher when steatosis was present. TCh (p<0.001), High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) (p=0.018) and LDL (p=0.003) were lower in G1 F4 compared with F1-F3 patients. Triglyceride (TG) levels correlated with FIB-4 (r=0.364, p=0.029), APRI (r=0.333, p=0.047) and Forns index (r=0.423, p=0.010) in G1 patients without steatosis. TG to LDL ratio (TG/LDL) (p=0.001) was higher in F4 than in F1-F3 patients. TG/LDL ratio predicted the presence of F4 in G1 patients without steatosis by an area under the ROC curve 0.900 (p<0.001). TG/LDL ratio > 0.52 was highly specific for F4 without steatosis. Specificity dropped to 76% when steatosis was present. TG/LDL < 0.32 negatively predicted liver cirrhosis. HCV RNA correlated with TG levels (r=0.330, p=0.009) in G1 patients with steatosis and with histological percent of fatty hepatocytes (r=0.585, p=0.028) in G3 patients.
Conclusion: Lipid levels in CHC G1 patients depend on the presence of steatosis and cirrhosis. HCV RNA is associated with TG levels in G1 patients with steatosis, but not in G3 patients. In cirrhotic CHC G1 patients cholesterol is low with relatively increased TG. TG/LDL ratio is a potential marker of liver cirrhosis in CHC G1 patients.