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Quantitation of HCV RNA in liver of patients with chronic hepatitis C

Martinelli, A; Brown, D; Morris, A; Dhillon, A; Dayley, P; Dusheiko, G; (2000) Quantitation of HCV RNA in liver of patients with chronic hepatitis C. Arquivos de Gastroenterologia , 37 (4) 203 -207. 10.1590/S0004-28032000000400003. Green open access

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Background/Aims - Liver HCV RNA has been quantitated in few studies and the feasibility and the role of this parameter in the evaluation of patients with chronic HCV hepatitis still warrant study. Our aim was to determine the concentrations of HCV RNA in the liver of chronic HCV patients and to correlate the results with serum viral load. We also studied the relation of levels of HCV RNA in the liver with serum aminotransferases levels and with the presence of cirrhosis. Methods - Twenty patients (14 males, aged 28 to 61 years) were studied. Twelve were infected by HCV type 1, six by type 3 and one by type 5. Percutaneous liver biopsy samples were obtained from 14 patients, and the remainder from liver explant in patients undergoing OLT. Twelve had chronic hepatitis and eight cirrhosis. HCV RNA levels were determined by bDNA. Results - HCV RNA levels below the detection limit were found in one liver and in five serum samples. HCV RNA (mean ± SD) was 2.1 x 108 ± 2.2 x 108Eq/gm in the liver and 94 x 105 ± 93 x 105Eq/mL in serum, with a significant correlation between these values (r = 0.89; P <0.0001). Serum HCV RNA levels were significantly lower (P = 0.001) in cirrhotic than in chronic hepatitis patients, while the groups did not differ in liver HCV RNA levels. No correlation was observed between liver or serum HCV RNA and serum ALT or AST. Conclusions - Quantitation of HCV RNA is possible even in small liver samples. Although average levels are more than one log higher than those observed in serum, hepatic concentrations correlate with those observed in serum. The application of this technology to monitoring antiviral therapy and understanding the pathogenesis of the disease remains to be determined.

Type: Article
Title: Quantitation of HCV RNA in liver of patients with chronic hepatitis C
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1590/S0004-28032000000400003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-28032000000400003
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/47514
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