Interferon therapy is used as a line of treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) in several areas of the world
Our aim was to investigate the value of hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) in predicting response of patients with
chronic HCV, genotype 4 to pegylated interferon (PEGIFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) therapy.
Pre-treatment liver biopsies obtained from 110 patients with chronic HCV, genotype 4 were examined immunohistochemically for HPCs using cytokeratin19. The mean number of HPCs as ductular reaction (DR) and as isolated progenitor cells
(IPCs) was counted in each case. The patients were classified into: those with sustained virological response (SVR) and those
who did not achieve SVR. The results were compared between the two groups. Also, the relationships between HPCs and other
clinico-pathologic variables were estimated using multivariate analysis.
The mean number of HPCs was the only independent predictor of therapeutic response, being significantly higher in
non-responders (P = 0 for DR and P = 0.03 for IPCs). On the other hand, fibrosis stage and steatosis were the only independent
factors which showed a significant direct association with the mean number of HPCs in the form of DR and IPCs (P = 0 for
The number of HPCs provides prognostic information in chronic HCV since it is significantly associated with
stage of fibrosis. More importantly, it can be used as a marker to predict response of patients with chronic HCV to PEGIFN
plus RBV therapy.
Cite as: Helal T El A, Radwan NA, Mahmoud HA, Zaki AME, Ahmed NS, Wahib AAA, et al. The role of hepatic progenitor cells in
predicting response to therapy in Egyptian patients with chronic hepatitis C, genotype 4. Afri Health Sci. 2019;19(1). 1411-1421. https://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v19i1.14