Liver iron accumulation in patients with chronic Hepatitis C has received increasing attention in recent years.
Dr Naoki Fujita and colleagues from Japan determined the prevalence and severity of liver iron deposition in chronic Hepatitis C.
The research team assessed its relationship with clinical, biochemical and histological characteristics.
The researchers also evaluated the influence of liver iron deposition on the response to interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy.
|Pretreatment total iron score was higher in non-sustained virological responders|
|Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
The team studied liver biopsy specimens from 103 Hepatitis C virus and 34 Hepatitis B virus infected patients, and the total iron score was measured.
The researchers reported that 70 patients infected with Hepatitis C virus genotype 1b were treated with interferon/ribavirin for 24 weeks.
The research team found that chronic Hepatitis C patients had a significantly higher total iron score than chronic Hepatitis B patients.
The team noted that total iron score was significantly correlated with alcohol intake, and transaminase levels.
In addition, platelet count, histological grading, and staging in chronic Hepatitis C patients was significantly correlated with total iron score.
Pretreatment total iron score was significantly higher in non-sustained virological responders than in sustained virological responders to interferon/ribavirin treatment.
The team observed using multiple regression analysis that total iron score was the only independent variable associated with resistance to interferon/ribavirin.
Dr Fujita's team concluded, "Liver iron deposition was common in chronic Hepatitis C compared to chronic Hepatitis B and was associated with liver disease progression."
"Increased hepatic iron stores in chronic Hepatitis C were related to resistance to interferon/ribavirin treatment."