Measurement of plasma microRNA-500 could differentiate between liver fibrosis and cirrhosis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

2 Clinical Trial Unit & Bioequivalence Center, Egyptian Liver Research Institute and Hospital (ELRIAH), Cairo, Egypt

3 Molecular Biology Unit, Egyptian Liver Research Institute and Hospital, Cairo, Egypt

4 Tropical Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Port Said University. and Egyptian Liver Research Institute and Hospital, Egypt

5 Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt


Background: A significant number of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are at high risk of progressing to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The lack of noninvasive methods for assessment of the degree of liver damage is the main limitation in the clinical management of liver diseases. Aim: This study was conducted to evaluate the expression level of plasma miR-500 in HCV-induced fibrosis, cirrhosis and HCC patients. Methods and results: This prospective study involved 120 subjects, who were divided into 4 groups (n=30/group): healthy control, liver fibrosis patients, liver cirrhosis patients and HCC patients; all patients encountered in the work were clinically diagnosed as chronic HCV patients. The expression of miR-500 in plasma was asessed using quantitative real-time PCR, whereas serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was measured using electrochemi-luminescence immunoassay. Results: The fold change in expression of plasma miR-500 showed significant up-regulation in cirrhotic patients more than 8 fold change as compared to fibrosis group. No significant fold changes in plasma miR-500 expression were found between either (HCC versus cirrhosis group) or (HCC versus fibrosis group. The serum level of AFP was 28.09 higher in the HCC group than non-HCC group.  Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis indicated that the ideal cut-off values of the plasma miR-500 in both fibrosis and cirrhosis groups were 1.52 and 1.15, respectively and 8.2 and 4.55, respectively for AFP. Conclusion: Plasma miR-500 can be used as a novel biomarker for the differentiation between liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.


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