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, 14 (11), 1088-1093

Association of IFNL3 Genotype With Hepatic Steatosis in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients Treated With Peginterferon and Ribavirin Combination Therapy


Association of IFNL3 Genotype With Hepatic Steatosis in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients Treated With Peginterferon and Ribavirin Combination Therapy

Shingo Nakamoto et al. Int J Med Sci.


Background: Genetic variation near the interferon lambda 3 (IFNL3) is known to be associated with response to pegylated interferon (pegIFN) and ribavirin combination therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection which is often accompanied by hepatic steatosis.

Aims: We examined whether this genetic variation is associated with host lipids and treatment response.

Methods: A total of 101 Japanese patients who had underwent liver biopsy before treatment with pegIFN and ribavirin for HCV genotype 1b infection were retrospectively analyzed for association between IFNL3 genotypes (rs8099917) and clinical factors including histopathological features of the liver. The presence of >5% steatosis in the liver specimen was defined as hepatic steatosis.

Results: Forty patients (40%) had liver steatosis before therapy. Patients with IFNL3 minor genotype (non-TT) showed lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level (p=0.0045), higher γ-glutamyl transpeptidase level (p=0.0003) and higher prevalence of hepatic steatosis (p=0.0002). Advanced fibrosis [odds ratio (OR) 4.63, p=0.03] and IFNL3 major genotype (OR 0.13, p=0.001) were 2 independent factors for determining the presence of hepatic steatosis. Among the factors associated with sustained virological response, IFNL3 genotype was the most significant predictor, as per multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Our results confirmed that IFNL3 genotype is associated with hepatic steatosis as well as IFN response.

Keywords: Hepatic steatosis; Hepatitis C virus; Interferon lambda 3; Peginterferon; Ribavirin.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.


Fig 1
Fig 1
(a) Association between the presence of steatosis and fibrosis stage in the liver of a patient infected with HCV genotype 1. (b) Association between IFNL3 minor genotype and grade of hepatic steatosis.

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