Goals: To evaluate the clinical significance of enlarged perihepatic lymph nodes in patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Background: Enlargement of perihepatic lymph node is a common finding during ultrasonography in patients with chronic hepatitis. Its relation with liver histology and viremia was reported in chronic hepatitis C, but little has been known about its clinical significance in chronic hepatitis B.
Study: We evaluated the clinical significance of perihepatic lymphadenopathy in chronic hepatitis B. In 50 patients with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis B and 15 healthy controls, the perihepatic lymph node volume was evaluated by ultrasonography and its possible correlation with biochemical tests, hepatitis activity index, and hepatitis B viremia was investigated.
Results: Perihepatic lymph node was detected in 48 of 50 patients with chronic hepatitis B (volume = 3.4 ± 2.4 mL) and in two of 15 controls (0.4 mL and 0.6 mL). In chronic hepatitis B, lymph node volume showed a significant correlation with serum aspartate transaminase (r = 0.66), alanine transaminase (r = 0.63), gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (r = 0.53), histologic activity index (r = 0.59), and necroinflammatory score (r = 0.59;p < 0.05 for all), but not with fibrosis score and serum hepatitis B viremia.
Conclusions: Enlarged perihepatic lymph nodes in chronic hepatitis B can be a good indicator for histologic and biochemical inflammatory activity of the liver, but not for viremia.