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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 92-102

Significance of hepatocyte growth factor concentrations in serum of patients with liver cirrhosis and patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

1 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Hemmat E El Haddad
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-7782.165437

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Objective Egypt has the highest prevalence of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection worldwide with the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-cMET axis promotes cell survival, proliferation, migration, and invasion. This study aimed to evaluate the role of serum HGF as a noninvasive biomarker in the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis and HCC. Patients and methods This study included 80 individuals. They were divided into three groups: group 1 included 20 healthy volunteers as a control group, group 2 included 30 patients with liver cirrhosis, and group 3 included 30 patients with HCC. Results HGF was highly significantly elevated in the HCC group (median 3709 pg/ml) and the cirrhotic group (median 2843.5 pg/ml) compared with the control group (median 913 pg/ml). α-Fetoprotein (AFP) was highly significantly elevated in the HCC group (median 128.5 ng/ml) than both the cirrhotic (median 4.9 ng/ml) and the control (median 3.15 ng/ml) group. Results of aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase, APRI, fibroindex, and model 3 in the cirrhotic group were highly significantly different from those in the control group. We found a positive significant correlation between HGF and AFP for all the participants studied. There were direct correlations between HGF and aspartate aminotransferase/platelet ratio index (APRI), fibroindex, and model 3. The sensitivity and specificity of HGF for selective detection of the HCC group over the non-HCC group (HCV group and healthy control group) were 93.3 and 46%, respectively, at a cut-off value of 1415 pg/ml, whereas that of AFP were 100 and 92%, respectively, at a cut-off value of 10 ng/ml, and area under the curve of HGF and AFP were 0.787 and 0.999, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of both AFP and HGF together were 100 and 66%, respectively, at the same cut-off values. The odds ratio of occurrence of HCC in patients with elevated HGF levels was 11.926 and 95% confidence interval 2.56-55.55. Conclusion We conclude from this study that both HGF and AFP can be used as noninvasive biomarkers for early detection of HCC in HCV cirrhotic patients, especially if their values match the cut-off levels detected in our study.

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