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ORIGINAL ARTICLESerum Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 Predicts Liver Inflammation of Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B by Yaoxin Fan, Lin Wang, Xiaoguang Dou

Background: The usefulness of serum markers for predicting liver necroinflammation is limited in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients with normal or slightly elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is an important inflammatory mediator in liver disease. Our study was to investigate the expression of MCP-1 and its diagnostic value in patients with HBV-related liver necroinflammation.
Methods: One hundred and six patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were recruited. All were positive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and underwent liver biopsy. Significant inflammation was defined as inflammatory grade ≥ 2 according to Scheuer’s classification scoring system. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect expression of MCP-1 in the peripheral blood of all patients, and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of MCP-1 and liver inflammation.
Results: MCP-1 level in patients with HBV infection was higher than in healthy controls (p < 0.05). Moreover, MCP-1 level in the ALT ≥ two times of upper limits of normal (2 ULN) group was higher than that of the ALT < 2 ULN group (p < 0.05). In the ALT < 2 ULN group, the MCP-1 level in patients whose inflammatory activity was grade ≥ 2 was higher than in patients with grade < 2 (p < 0.05). ROC curve analysis showed that the area under the curve of MCP-1 in diagnosis of liver inflammation was 0.842.
Conclusions: MCP-1 could be used as a serological marker for non-invasive evaluation of liver inflammation in CHB patients with normal or slightly elevated ALT.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.171218