Liver steatosis in chronic hepatitis C: a morphological sign suggesting infection with HCV genotype 3

Histopathology. 2001 Aug;39(2):119-24. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.2001.01208.x.


Aims: To identify factors associated with liver steatosis in chronic hepatitis C.

Methods and results: Occurrence and severity of liver steatosis in 254 chronic hepatitis C patients were compared with presence of alcohol abuse, body mass index (BMI) >26, history of intravenous drug addiction and hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype. Steatosis was found in 109 (43%) patients. The occurrence of steatosis was significantly associated with ongoing alcohol abuse (P=0.03) or HCV genotype 3 (P= 0.003), but not with BMI >26. A moderate to severe steatosis was present in 60% of patients infected with HCV genotype 3, irrespective of the presence of alcohol abuse, BMI >26 or history of intravenous drug addiction. Using a multivariable stepwise logistic regression analysis, infection with genotype 3 had an odds ratio (OR) of 10 (95% confidence interval (CI)=4.56-22) for a liver steatosis, whereas the presence of a cirrhosis at histology had an OR=0.256 (95% CI=0.07-0.92).

Conclusions: A moderate to severe degree of steatosis of the liver is a morphological sign suggestive of infection with HCV genotype 3, independent of other risk factors of a fatty liver, but it may disappear at late stages of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Fatty Liver / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous


  • RNA, Viral