Korean J Hepatol > Volume 12(4); 2006 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2006;12(4): 515-523.
Clinical Significance of Intrahepatic HCV RNA Level in Chronic HCV Infection
Jae Young Jang, M.D., Yun Soo Kim, M.D.2, Sang Gyune Kim, M.D., Young Seok Kim, M.D., Young Deok Cho, M.D., Joon Sung Lee, M.D., So Young Jin, M.D.1, Moon Sung Lee, M.D., Ju Hyun Kim, M.D.2, Chan Sup Shim, M.D., and Boo Sung Kim, M.D.
nstitute for Digestive Research, Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Pathology1, Soon Chun Hyang University, College of Medicine, Seoul; Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University2, Incheon, Korea
This study was carried out to identify the correlation between the serum HCV RNA and the liver HCV RNA level in chronic hepatitis C patients and to evaluate the differences of biochemistry, histology, HCV genotype and their response to antiviral therapy according to intrahepatic HCV RNA levels. Methods: For thirty-six chronic hepatitis C patients (M:F=22:14, CH:LC=27:9), percutaneous liver biopsy was performed, and serum and liver HCV RNA level were measured. Seventeen patients were treated with IFN-α and ribavirin. Results: There was a significant correlation between intrahepatic and serum HCV RNA levels (intrahepatic HCV RNA: 1.9±3.1×107 copies/g vs. serum HCV RNA: 3.2±3.2×106 copies/mL)(r=0.538, P<0.01). Total histological activity score (r=0.346, P=0.04) and periportal inflammation (r=0.398, P=0.01) were correlated with intrahepatic HCV RNA level. However, serum HCV RNA level was not correlated with histological activity. Serum ALT was not correlated with intrahepatic HCV RNA level. Intrahepatic HCV RNA level was higher in genotype 1 than genotype 2 or 3 (P=0.07). Intrahepatic HCV RNA level was not correlated with response to anti-viral therapy. Conclusion: Intrahepatic HCV RNA level was correlated with serum HCV RNA level and periportal inflammation in patients with chronic hepatitis C. It seems that intrahepatic HCV RNA level is more closely related to histological features than serum HCV RNA level. (Korean J Hepatol 2006;12:515-523)
KeyWords: Hepatitis C, chronic; Intrahepatic HCV RNA; Serum HCV RNA; Histologic activity; Genotype

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