Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 736-740

Increased liver mast cells in patients with chronic hepatitis C

1 Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Harran University, Medical Faculty, Sanliurfa, Turkey
2 Department of Pathology, Harran University, Medical Faculty, Sanliurfa, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Suda Tekin Koruk
Harran University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Yenisehir Campus, 63100, Sanliurfa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.91510

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Background and Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the mast cell (MC) concentration in the liver tissue of patients diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C and to determine whether there was a correlation with clinical and pathological characteristics of patients. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on liver biopsy samples from 60 patients with chronic hepatitis C. Clinical and laboratory data were obtained from follow-up records. Stained liver biopsies were examined. Immunohistochemical staining was performed by using an anti-c-kit antibody. Patients were divided into four groups (minimal, mild, moderate, and severe) based on the intensity of inflammation and their hepatic activity index scores and into two groups (no-mild, moderate-severe) according to fibrosis grade. Results: Among patients enrolled, 60.0% (n=36) were men with a mean age of 48.3±12.7 (range 18-64) years. The mean number of mast cells per portal area in the liver was 0.87±0.86 (0-4.0). No correlation was found between alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Ribonucleic acid ( RNA ) levels and the degree of inflammation of cases with number of mast cells and liver steatosis (P>0.05). As the degree of fibrosis increased in the liver so did the number of mast cells in portal areas (P=0.001). On the other hand, no correlation was found between the degree of fibrosis and the number of MCs in the sinusoids and steatosis (P<0.05). The increase in the number of MCs in the portal areas correlated with an increase in liver steatosis (t: 0.02, P=0.04). Conclusion: In light of these findings, it appears possible that MC accumulation in chronic HCV patients may be used as an indicator of fibrosis and possibly be considered in the follow-up of these patients.

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