Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(1):45-52. doi:10.7150/ijms.17202 This issue

Research Paper

Steatosis influences the clinical profiles and long-term outcomes of interferon-treated chronic hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis patients

Kazushige Nirei, Hiroshi Matsumura, Mariko Kumakawa, Naoki Matsumoto, Hitomi Nakamura, Hiroaki Yamagami, Shunichi Matsuoka, Mitsuhiko Moriyama

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan 30-1 Oyaguchi Kamicho, Itabashiku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan.

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Nirei K, Matsumura H, Kumakawa M, Matsumoto N, Nakamura H, Yamagami H, Matsuoka S, Moriyama M. Steatosis influences the clinical profiles and long-term outcomes of interferon-treated chronic hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis patients. Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(1):45-52. doi:10.7150/ijms.17202. Available from

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Objective: This study aimed to assess the relationship between steatosis and long-term outcomes of patients with chronic hepatitis C (CH) and liver cirrhosis (LC).

Patients and methods: The study population included 282 subjects with CH or LC who underwent liver biopsy at our institute. All patients achieved a sustained virological response (SVR) to interferon (IFN). Clinical characteristics, including age, gender and body mass index (BMI), were compared. The liver biopsy specimens of all patients were examined and scores were assigned to indicate the severity of each of the following features: inflammatory cell infiltration in the periportal, parenchymal and portal areas; F (fibrosis) stage; portal sclerotic change; perivenular fibrosis; pericellular fibrosis; bile duct damage; hepatic steatosis.

Results: Of the 282 patients, 112 (39.7%) were free of steatosis. The other 170 patients (60.3%) had steatosis. The blood biochemical parameters of the patients with hepatic steatosis were significantly poorer than those of patients free of steatosis. Inflammatory cell infiltration and F stage were both significantly more severe in patients with than in those without steatosis. The incidences of hepatocellular carcinoma differed significantly between the two groups. However, the incidences of hepatocellular carcinoma did not differ significantly between the groups with BMI above and below 25.

Conclusion: We consider hepatic steatosis to potentially affect the blood biochemical parameters and clinical profiles of Japanese patients with CH due to hepatitis virus type C. Patients with this form of CH showed favorable clinical responses to IFN. Furthermore, fibrosis and steatosis appear to affect the long-term outcomes of these patients. However, BMI alone cannot be used to predict HCC development.

Keywords: chronic hepatitis C, liver cirrhosis, sustained virological response, incidence of HCC, fibrosis, steatosis.