Serum hyaluronate can be measured by a simple non-invasive test that may be able to give an estimate of the severity of fibrosis in alcoholic liver disease.
A team of doctors in Germany have evaluated the use of serum hyaluronate as a marker to detect the early stages of alcoholic liver disease.
The research team also investigated a possible correlation between serum hyaluronate levels and the histological stage of liver disease.
87 alcoholic patients with biopsy-proven fatty liver, fatty liver and mild fibrosis, fatty liver and inflammation, severe fibrosis and inflammation, or cirrhosis, were involved in the study.
12 non-alcoholic individuals acted as controls.
Serum hyaluronate concentrations were measured using a radioimmunoassay technique.
| Hyaluronate correlated well with histological stage and was highly sensitive for detecting fibrosis |
| European Journal of Gastroenterology and Heaptology |
The research team report their findings in the September issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Heaptology.
Serum hyaluronate was found to increase significantly with advanced stages of alcoholic liver disease.
Serum hyaluronate levels were closely correlated with the histological stage of liver disease. Hyalyronate was a highly sensitive marker for the detection of fibrosis.
An editorial in the same issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Heaptology comments, “Serum hyaluronate may well be a useful adjunctive test in the assessment of certain categories of alcoholic liver disease patients”
“However, at present it is unlikely to displace liver biopsy as the investigation of choice in alcoholic liver disease”