Liver fibrosis assessment and evaluation of disease severity in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients provides useful information for therapeutic decisions. Chronic HCV infection is associated with increased levels of peripheral T cell apoptosis. The aim was to study whether peripheral blood T lymphocyte apoptosis markers may contribute to clinical progression, and develop a simple index based on combination of apoptosis and routine biomarkers for accurate evaluation of fibrosis stages in HCV patients.
Patients and methods:
Peripheral blood T lymphocytes were isolated from 72 patients with hepatitis C virus and 25 healthy control individuals. Serum samples were collected at time of liver biopsy. Liver fibrosis was tested in biopsies using the Metavair score system. Stepwise linear discriminate analysis and area under receiver-operating characteristic curves were utilized to produce a predictive score comprising significant apoptosis biomarkers.
A novel score named apoptosis fibrosis index (AFI) was created on the basis of a combination of CD8/Annexin, albumin and platelets. The multivariate discriminate analysis selected a score based on absolute values of the three biochemical markers; score = 5.8 + 0.008×CD8/Annexin-V (%) - 1.4×Albumin (g/dl) - 0.001×Platelet count (109/L), where 5.8 considered numerical constant. AFI produce an area under the curve of one for significant fibrosis, 0.80 for advanced fibrosis, and 0.889 for cirrhosis.
Apoptosis biomarkers in HCV patients were associated with liver fibrosis. AFI score, a novel noninvasive test, can be used easily for the prediction of liver fibrosis stage and may decrease the need for liver biopsy in hepatitis C virus Egyptian patients.