Liver international : official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 2017 02 23() doi 10.1111/liv.13395
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Ferritin is purported to have proinflammatory and profibrogenic effects on hepatic stellate cells. Thus, rather than acting as a passive indicator of hepatic iron concentration (HIC) in hemochromatosis, ferritin may directly influence fibrosis. This study evaluated whether serum ferritin is a better predictor of hepatic fibrosis compared to variables previously associated with increased fibrosis risk in hemochromatosis.
We identified 291 C282Y HFE-homozygous patients who had undergone liver biopsy for histological fibrosis staging and measurement of HIC. Ordinal logistic regression determined the best model for fibrosis stage not including serum ferritin. Then, serum ferritin was introduced into this model to assess whether the predictive power of the model was significantly increased and to evaluate the effect on other predictors of fibrosis.
Ordinal logistic regression analyses without serum ferritin demonstrated that log HIC (OR 2.89; P<0.001), male gender (OR 2.93; P=0.005), alcohol consumption (g/day) (OR 1.01; P=0.004), steatosis (OR 2.86; P=0.01), arthritis (OR 2.46; P=0.01) predicted increasing fibrosis stage (n=217). Addition of serum ferritin in multivariate analysis substantially improved the predictive power of the model (χ(2) =37.15; P<0.01) and was highly predictive of fibrosis stage (OR 5.44; P<0.001). Inclusion of serum ferritin in this model rendered the effects of HIC, gender, alcohol and steatosis to non-significance. CONCLUSIONS
In hemochromatosis, serum ferritin is a better predictor of fibrosis stage than HIC, gender, steatosis and alcohol. These data support a hypothesis that ferritin may play a role in fibrosis rather than simply acting as a passive indicator of iron storage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.