Acta tropica 2017 12 05178() 258-263 pii 10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.12.004
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with insulin resistance (IR), rapid disease progression, and decreased virological response to antiviral treatment. In addition, obesity is a risk factor for chronic hepatitis C evolution and is associated with IR. As adiponectin is an adipokine that is associated with obesity and IR, this study aimed to investigate serum levels of adiponectin among patients with HCV infection and IR. Thirty-three patients with untreated HCV infection underwent testing of serum adiponectin levels (capture ELISA) and were compared to 30 healthy subjects with similar body mass indexes (BMI). Data were also obtained for several homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) indexes: HOMA-IR, HOMA-β, and HOMA-adiponectin. Patients with HCV infection had higher adiponectin levels, which predominantly were observed among women. Hyperadiponectinemia was not associated with high BMI. Patients with HCV infection had higher HOMA-IR and HOMA-β values, although no difference was observed for HOMA-adiponectin. Patients with HCV infection and overweight/obese status had higher HOMA-IR values, although no association was observed for adiponectin levels. Hyperadiponectinemia and IR were not influenced by HCV load or liver fibrosis. The predictors of IR were BMI, glycemia, and serum levels of insulin and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, but not adiponectin levels. Thus, patients with chronic hepatitis C have significant metabolic alterations (hyperadiponectinemia and high HOMA-IR values) that are independent of HCV viremia and liver fibrosis. Among these patients, HOMA-IR but not HOMA-adiponectin was appropriate for diagnosing IR.