IMR Press / FBE / Volume 2 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/E184

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Circulating fibrocytes as a marker of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C
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1 University of Catania, Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties, Division of Infectious Diseases, Via Palermo 636, Catania, Italy
2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
3 Department of Internal Medicine and Specialties Medicine, Respiratory Diseases Section, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
4 Unit of Breast Surgery, University of Catania, Italy
Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2010, 2(4), 1241–1245;
Published: 1 June 2010

Surrogate markers of liver fibrosis are needed as an alternative to liver biopsy, which is invasive and life-threatening. Peripheral blood fibrocytes (PBF) are considered to be involved in systemic fibrogenic processes. We measured the level of PBF in patients with chronic hepatitis C by enrolling 70 patients affected with chronic hepatitis C, 20 patients with HCV-positive decompensated cirrhosis and 30 healthy volunteers. All patients underwent liver biopsy and Fibroscan for fibrosis assessment. Patients with chronic hepatitis C had significantly higher levels of PBF in comparison with healthy individuals and decompensated cirrhotics. Patients in the F0-F1 stage had a percentage of PBF of 23.3±4 %, significantly lower (p<0.001) than in F2 and F3 stages. Patients in the F4 stage had a PBF rate of 50.6±2% (p<0.001 versus the F0, F1 and F2 stages). The percentage of PBF correlated positively with the Metavir score and the liver stiffness as measured by Fibroscan. PBF are increased in patients with HCV infection and correlate with the histological stage of liver fibrosis.

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