Peripheral T lymphocytes predict the severity and prognosis in patients with HBV-related acute-on-chronic liver failure

Medicine (Baltimore). 2021 Feb 5;100(5):e24075. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000024075.


Background: Hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) is a life-threatening syndrome with high mortality. Biomarkers are urgently needed to predict the prognosis of HBV-ACLF. Recent evidence suggests a key role for immune system in the pathology of HBV-ACLF. Here, we analyzed the correlation between peripheral blood T lymphocytes and the severity and prognosis in HBV-ACLF patients.

Method: Sixty-six patients with HBV-ACLF received conventional medical treatments for 4 weeks. Twenty-five healthy subjects and 20 HBV patients were enrolled for comparison. We determined white blood cell count, lymphocytes, CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and CD4+CD25+ Treg cells in the blood of all subjects. Their associations with laboratory parameters before or after treatments were statistically analyzed.

Result: The results showed that compare normal subjects and chronic hepatitis B patients, HBV-ACLF patients had significantly increased white blood count, CD4+ T cells and decreased lymphocytes, CD3+ T cells, and Treg cells. Correlation analysis showed that white blood cell, lymphocytes, and peripheral T lymphocytes were correlated with prothrombin activity (PTA) and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores. After treatment, white blood cell, lymphocytes, and peripheral T lymphocytes were also correlated with PTA and MELD scores. Additionally, total bilirubin (TBIL), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), international standard ratio (INR), MELD, and white blood cell count were potential prognostic criteria for HBV-ACLF patients.

Conclusion: HBV-ACLF patients had depletion and dysfunction of immune system. Changes of peripheral T lymphocytes were closely related to the pathogenesis and prognosis of disease. Our results may contribute to predict the severity of HBV-ACLF, and provide a prognosis response to improve the treatment of HBV-ACLF.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure* / blood
  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure* / diagnosis
  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure* / etiology
  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure* / mortality
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Correlation of Data
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Count / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*