Serum Iron Markers in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Infection

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) often have elevated serum iron markers, which may worsen liver injury. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the possible correlations between iron metabolism serum markers, HCV viral load, and liver disease severity in treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Patients and Methods: Eighty five patients with untreated hepatitis C chronic infection were investigated. . Results: Twenty one patients (24.7%) had elevated serum iron levels, and 29 subjects (34.1%) had severe liver fibrosis. Significantly elevated levels of serum iron (P < 0.05) and ferritin (P < 0.001), associated with lower levels of TIBC (P < 0.05) were detected in patients with severe fibrosis compared tono/mild fibrosis. Severe necroinflammatory activity was also significantly correlated with serum iron (P < 0.001), TIBC (P < 0.05), and ferritin levels (P < 0.001). Using multiple linear regression analysis, serum levels of ferritin and transferrin were the independent variables selected as being good predictors for advanced fibrosis and severe necroinflammatory activity. No significant correlations were detected between HCV viral load and iron markers. Conclusions: This study revealed that serum iron markers (especially ferritin and transferrin) might be used as surrogate markers for both liver fibrosis and necroinflammatory activity.