Serum Iron and Type III Procollagen Peptide (PIIINP) in Patients with Chronic Viral Hepatitis and Their Relation to the Disease Activity
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We studied thirty patients with chronic viral hepatitis (15 had hepatitis B virus and 15 had hepatitis C virus infection) and 10 normal healthy volunteers as a control group. They were investigated by procto-sigmoidoscopy, abdominal ultrasonography, liver biopsy and fasting blood samples were taken to assess, serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), serum type III procollagen peptide (PIIINP), Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Asparate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase and serum bilirubin. The results did show a high level of both serum iron and PIIINP in patients with chronic hepatitis as compared to the control group. No correlation was found between serum iron and either PIIINP or aminotransferases, but significant correlations were found to both alk. phos. and bilirubin. A positive correlation was found between PIIINP and ALT indicating that PIIINP a known marker for liver fibrogenesis might be a marker for disease activity. inspite of the finding of absent relation between serum iron and disease activity in patients with chronic viral hepatitis, the high serum levels of iron in these patients needs further studies to evaluate its clinical significance.