Aims: Positive serum antinuclear antibody (ANA) is present in a number of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of ANA in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and to elucidate its clinical implications in virological and histological characteristics of CHC infection.
Methods: A total of 614 CHC patients were enrolled in this prospective, hospital-based study. The serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and ANA, and HCV genotype, HCV RNA level, and histological activity index scores for liver histopathology, were determined.
Results: The prevalence of positive ANA (titre >1:40) was 35.0%. Women had a significantly higher prevalence than men (41.2 vs 31.0%; p = 0.012). Patients positive for ANA were significantly older (mean (SD), 53.7 (10.5) vs 49.7 (11.3) years; p<0.001) and had higher mean (SD) alanine aminotransferase levels (186.9 (178.8) vs 155.50 (113.5) IU/l; p<0.001) and lower mean (SD) HCV RNA levels (5.2 (0.9) vs 5.4 (1.0) log IU/ml; p = 0.048) than those without ANA. Among 447 patients undergoing liver biopsy, those positive for ANA had a significantly higher mean (SD) fibrosis score (2.0 (1.3) vs 1.5 (1.1); p<0.001) and a higher frequency of F3–4 (69/187, 36.9% vs 50/260, 19.2%; p<0.001) than those negative for ANA. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that advanced fibrosis, lower HCV RNA levels and age were significant factors related to positive ANA.
Conclusion: ANA is associated with a more advanced liver fibrosis and lower serum HCV RNA level in patients with CHC.
- antinuclear antibody
- chronic hepatitis C
- liver fibrosis
- HCV RNA
- HCV RNA level
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests: None.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.