Purpose: Adiponectin possesses anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing properties. Little is known about the role of adiponectin in hepatitis B-related liver disease.
Methods: Serum adiponectin and hepatitis B viral factors were cross-sectionally assayed in 280 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection including 120 patients with chronic HBV infection, 40 patients with cirrhosis, and 120 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); 116 healthy adults were used as controls. The dynamics of serum adiponectin level was also studied longitudinally in 25 patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion (SC).
Results: We found that serum adiponectin level in patients with chronic HBV infection was similar to that in healthy controls and was significantly lower than patients with cirrhosis and HCC. In univariate analysis, high serum adiponectin level significantly correlated with the presence of HBV-related cirrhosis or HCC, abnormal serum ALT level, and HBV genotype C. Multivariate analysis revealed that high serum adiponectin level significantly correlated with the development of HCC. Serum adiponectin levels remained stationary in patients experiencing HBeAg SC.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that HBV infection itself does not affect adiponectin levels. Serum adiponectin level correlates with the progression of HBV-related liver diseases but not with the development of HBeAg SC.