Background & objectives: One of the multiple factors contributing to virological response in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is interferon-gamma-inducible protein-10 (IP-10). Its level reflects the status of interferon-stimulated genes, which in turn is associated with virological response to antiviral therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of serum IP-10 levels on sustained virological response (SVR) and the association of this parameter with insulin resistance (IR) and liver histology.
Methods: Two hundred and three consecutive biopsy proven CHC patients were included in the study. Serum levels of IP-10 were determined using ELISA method. IR was evaluated by homeostasis model assessment-IR (HOMA-IR). Histological features were assessed invasively by liver biopsy and noninvasively using FibroTest, ActiTest and SteatoTest. Predictive factors for SVR and their interrelations were assessed.
Results: A cut-off value for IP-10 of 392 pg/ml was obtained to discriminate between responders and non-responders. SVR was obtained in 107 patients (52.70%). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for SVR was 0.875 with a sensitivity of 91.6 per cent, specificity 74.7 per cent, positive predictive value 80.3 per cent and negative predictive value 88.7 per cent. Higher values of IP-10 were associated with increasing stages of fibrosis (P<0.01) and higher grades of inflammation (P=0.02, P=0.07) assessed morphologically and noninvasively through FibroTest and ActiTest. Significant steatosis and IR were also associated with increased levels of IP-10 (P=0.01 and P=0.02). In multivariate analysis, IP-10 levels and fibrosis stages were independently associated with SVR.
Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed that the assessment of serum IP-10 level could be a predictive factor for SVR and it was associated with fibrosis, necroinflammatory activity, significant steatosis and IR in patients with chronic HCV infection.