Liver fibrosis in young Egyptian beta-thalassemia major patients: relation to hepatitis C virus and compliance with chelation

2013 Annals of Hepatology 12;1 (54-61)

BACKGROUND: The main causes of liver fibrosis in transfusion-dependent thalassemia major are hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and hepatic iron overload. The study aimed to assess liver fibrosis in Egyptian adolescents and young adult poly-transfused beta thalassemia patients infected with HCV using liver FibroScan in relation to iron overload and Liver iron concentration (LIC). MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty-one regularly transfused beta thalassemia patients above 12 years old were subjected to measurement of serum alanine transaminase (ALT), serum ferritin (SF), HCV (antibody and RNA), LIC assessed by hepatic R2* and transient elastography (TE) (FibroScan). FibroTest and liver biopsy were done to 25 patients. RESULTS: Eighty two% of studied thalassemia patients were HCV antibody positive; 21(49%) of them were viremic (HCV RNA positive); median LIC was 12 mg/gm dry weight. There were strong positive correlation between the degree of liver stiffness and Ishak fibrosis score assessed in liver biopsy specimens (P = 0.002) and between FibroScan and FibroTest results (P 12.5kPa) was encountered in 23.5% and variable degrees of liver fibrosis (TE values > 6-12.5 kPa) in 35% of studied thalassemic patients. CONCLUSION: Young beta thalassemia patients with active hepatitis C infection may have hepatic cirrhosis or fibrosis at young age when accompanied with hepatic siderosis. Non invasive Liver FibroScan and Fibro-Test were reliable methods to assess liver fibrosis in young thalassemic-patients.

Pubmed : 23293194