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Simple blood tests can predict compensated liver cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Hepatogastroenterology 2002 Mar-Apr;49(44):478-81

Luo JC, Hwang SJ, Chang FY, Chu CW, Lai CR, Wang YJ, Lee PC, Tsay SH, Lee SD
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.

Twenty to fifty percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection will insidiously progress to cirrhosis after 10-20 years' follow-up. The aim of this study is to retrospectively evaluate the role of simple non-invasive blood tests in detecting the presence of compensated liver cirrhosis in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis C. METHODOLOGY: One hundred and eleven biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C patients were enrolled, 23 (20.7%) patients showed cirrhosis with class A in Child-Pugh's classification and were all asymptomatic. Liver biochemistry, complete blood count, and serum N-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen were determined and then compared between chronic hepatitis C patients with compensated cirrhosis and without cirrhosis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to predict factors associated with compensated cirrhosis. RESULTS: Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed platelet count < or = 140,000/mm3 (odds ratio: 23.44, P < 0.001), globulin/albumin ratio > or = 1 (odds ratio: 31.47, P = 0.008), and AST/ALT ratio > or = (odds ratio: 6.58, P = 0.035) were significant predictors associated with hepatitis C virus-related compensated cirrhosis. Platelet count < or = 140,000/mm3 had 83% sensitivity and 85% specificity in detecting liver cirrhosis. Globulin/albumin ratio > or = 1 had 43% sensitivity, 98% specificity and AST/ALT ratio > or = 1 had 39% sensitivity, 92% specificity in detecting liver cirrhosis. Combined tests with AST/ALT > or = 1 and globulin/albumin > or = 1, platelet count < or = 140,000/mm3 and globulin/albumin > or = 1 had 100% specificity, 100% positive predictive value but lower sensitivity (22% and 39% respectively), lower negative predictive value (83% and 86%, respectively) in detecting hepatitis C virus-related compensated liver cirrhosis. CONCLUSIONS: Simple blood tests with platelet count < or = 140,000/mm3, globulin/albumin ratio > or = 1, and AST/ALT ratio > or = 1 can indicate liver cirrhosis in follow-up patients with chronic hepatitis C.

PMID: 11995477, UI: 21992056


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