Reuters Health Information (2005-10-21): Stellate cells predict transplanted liver cirrhosis risk
Stellate cells predict transplanted liver cirrhosis risk
Last Updated: 2005-10-21 12:26:17 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Early hepatic stellate cell
activation is associated with advanced fibrosis after liver
transplantation in recipients with hepatitis C, researchers report in
the October 10th issue of Liver Transplantation.
"Findings from our study," lead author Dr. Mark W. Russo told
Reuters Health, "suggest that a novel way to determine if liver
transplant recipients with hepatitis C are at risk for developing
cirrhosis is to measure the activity of the hepatic stellate cells, the
main source of scar formation in the liver."
Dr. Russo of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and
colleagues note that over a 2-year period as many as 20% of such
recipients will develop bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis.
To develop a marker that might help predict this outcome, and thus
identify patients who might benefit from early antiviral therapy, the
researchers studied liver biopsies from 21 transplanted patients who
had developed such fibrosis and another 25 who had not.
The team paid particular attention to hepatic stellate cells.
Hepatic stellate cell activation is the earliest step in hepatic
fibrogenesis, preceding collagen deposition and may result in
Hepatic stellate activity was indeed independently associated with
rapid fibrosis (odds ratio, 1.6) and, say the researchers, it
complements other histologic findings.
"Our results," concluded Dr. Russo, "provide the rationale for
conducting a larger, prospective study of hepatic stellate cell
activity in liver transplant recipients with chronic hepatitis C."
Liver Transpl 2005;11:1235-1241.