Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
versão On-line ISSN 1414-431X
NASCIMENTO, M.M. et al. Effect of hepatitis C serology on C-reactive protein in a cohort of Brazilian hemodialysis patients. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2005, vol.38, n.5, pp. 783-788. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2005000500017.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is not an uncommon feature in hemodialysis (HD) patients and may be a cause of systemic inflammation. Plasma cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is mainly produced by circulating and peripheral cells and induces the hepatic synthesis of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is the main acute phase reactant. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of HCV on two markers of systemic inflammation, serum CRP and IL-6, in HD patients. The study included 118 HD patients (47% males, age 47 ± 13 years, 9% diabetics) who had been treated by standard HD for at least 6 months. The patients were divided into two groups depending on the presence (HCV+) or absence (HCV-) of serum antibodies against HCV. Serum albumin (S-Alb), plasma high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), IL-6, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were measured and the values were compared with those for 22 healthy controls. Median hsCRP and IL-6 values and hsCRP/IL-6 ratio were: 3.5 vs 2.1 mg/l, P < 0.05; 4.3 vs 0.9 pg/ml, P < 0.0001, and 0.8 vs 2.7, P < 0.0001, for patients and controls, respectively. Age, gender, S-Alb, IL-6 and hsCRP did not differ between the HCV+ and HCV- patients. However, HCV+ patients had higher ALT (29 ± 21 vs 21 ± 25 IU/l) and had been on HD for a longer time (6.1 ± 3.0 vs 4.0 ± 2.0 years, P < 0.0001). Moreover, HCV+ patients had a significantly lower median hsCRP/IL-6 ratio (0.7 vs 0.9, P < 0.05) compared to the HCV- group. The lower hsCRP/IL-6 ratio in HCV+ patients than in HCV- patients suggests that hsCRP may be a less useful marker of inflammation in HCV+ patients and that a different cut-off value for hsCRP for this population of patients on HD may be required to define inflammation.
Palavras-chave : Hepatitis C; C-reactive protein; Interleukin-6; Hemodialysis.