Thrombocytopenia is more severe in patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C than B with the same grade of liver stiffness and splenomegaly.

Tejima K, Masuzaki R, Ikeda H, Yoshida H, Tateishi R, Sugioka Y, Kume Y, Okano T, Iwai T, Gotoh H, Katoh S, Suzuki A, Koike Y, Yatomi Y, Omata M, Koike K
J Gastroenterol. 2010 45 (8): 876-84

PMID: 20339877 · DOI:10.1007/s00535-010-0233-5

BACKGROUND AND AIM - The mechanism responsible for thrombocytopenia in chronic liver diseases (CLD) is not yet fully understood. The prevalence of thrombocytopenia has been reported to be higher in patients with hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (CLD-C) than in those with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (CDC-B). We have examined the potential difference in thrombocytopenia between patients with CLD-B and those with CLD-C in terms of liver fibrosis adjustment and splenomegaly.

METHODS - The study cohort consisted of 102 patients with CLD-B and 143 patients with CLD-C were enrolled. Liver stiffness, which is reported to be well correlated with the degree of liver fibrosis, was measured by transient elastography.

RESULTS - The analysis of covariance with liver stiffness as a covariate revealed that the platelet count was lower in CLD-C patients than in CLD-B patients. Following stratification for liver stiffness, thrombocytopenia was found to be more severe in CLD-C patients than CLD-B patients with advanced liver stiffness, whereas the degree of splenomegaly was not significantly different. The plasma thrombopoietin level was not different between CLD-B and CLD-C patients with advanced liver stiffness, and the immature platelet number was lower in CLD-C patients despite thrombocytopenia being more severe in these patients.

CONCLUSIONS - CLD-C patients with advanced liver stiffness presented with more severe levels of thrombocytopenia than CLD-B patients even with the same grade of splenomegaly. Impaired platelet production rather than enhanced platelet destruction may underlie the mechanism responsible for thrombocytopenia in patients with CLD.

MeSH Terms (16)

Adult Aged Blood Platelets Carcinoma, Hepatocellular Cohort Studies Female Hepatitis B, Chronic Hepatitis C, Chronic Humans Liver Cirrhosis Liver Neoplasms Male Middle Aged Severity of Illness Index Splenomegaly Thrombocytopenia

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