Performance of diagnostic biomarkers in predicting liver fibrosis among hepatitis C virus-infected Egyptian children|
Nassef, Yasser E.; Shady, Mones M. Abu; Galal, Essam M. & Hamed, Manal A.
The aim of the present study was to identify specific markers that mirror liver fibrosis progression as an alternative to biopsy when biopsy is contraindicated, especially in children. After liver biopsies were performed, serum samples from 30 hepatitis C virus (HCV) paediatric patients (8-14 years) were analysed and compared with samples from 30 healthy subjects. All subjects were tested for the presence of serum anti-HCV antibodies. Direct biomarkers for liver fibrosis, including transforming growth factor-â1, tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), hyaluronic acid (HA), procollagen type III amino-terminal peptide (PIIINP) and osteopontin (OPN), were measured. The indirect biomarkers aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, albumin and bilirubin were also tested. The results revealed a significant increase in the serum marker levels in HCV-infected children compared with the healthy group, whereas albumin levels exhibited a significant decrease. Significantly higher levels of PIIINP, TIMP-1, OPN and HA were detected in HCV-infected children with moderate to severe fibrosis compared with children with mild fibrosis (p < 0.05). The diagnostic accuracy of these direct biomarkers, represented by sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value, emphasises the utility of PIIINP, TIMP-1, OPN and HA as indicators of liver fibrosis among HCV-infected children.
HCV; fibrosis; children; diagnostic biomarkers; diagnostic accuracy