Serum procollagen peptides and collagen type VI for the assessment of activity and degree of hepatic fibrosis in schistosomiasis and alcoholic liver disease

Hepatology. 1992 Apr;15(4):637-44. doi: 10.1002/hep.1840150414.


Schistosomiasis, in contrast to alcoholic liver disease, leads to presinusoidal hepatic fibrosis, which determines the prognosis of the disease. Because conventional liver function tests and liver biopsy specimens provide little information about the dynamics of the fibrotic process, we measured the serum concentrations of procollagen type III N-propeptide and procollagen type I C-propeptide, believed to mainly reflect collagen synthesis, and procollagen type IV C-propeptide and collagen type VI, two presumptive markers of collagen degradation. Determinations were performed in 15 healthy control subjects, 69 patients with various stages of infection with Schistosoma mansoni/Schistosoma haematobium (28 with an early active infection and no organ involvement, 27 with hepatosplenic involvement and 14 with complications of portal hypertension) and 16 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. In addition, liver biopsy specimens were obtained from 30 schistosomal patients (18 with hepatosplenic involvement and 12 with complications of portal hypertension for histopathological grading and collagen histochemistry. Procollagen type III N-propeptide was significantly elevated in the three patient groups with schistosomiasis when compared with controls (p less than 0.01). Also, patients with higher histological grading showed significantly higher procollagen type III N-propeptide values (p less than 0.05). In alcoholic patients, procollagen type III N-propeptide was even higher and increased parallel to the severity of the disease, determined by using a combined clinical and laboratory index. Procollagen type I C-propeptide was only elevated in early infection (p less than 0.05) and steadily decreased with disease progression.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Collagen / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / complications*
  • Male
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Procollagen / blood*
  • Schistosomiasis / complications*


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Procollagen
  • procollagen Type III-N-terminal peptide
  • procollagen type I carboxy terminal peptide
  • Collagen