Assessment of Micro RNA-122 in HCV-related Liver Cirrhosis Patients: Is it a New Serum Prognostic Marker?

  • Samar Darweesh Hepatogastroenterology and Endemic Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University
  • Amal A. Gad
  • Doaa F. Gad
Keywords: micro-RNA-122, HCV liver cirrhosis, prognostic marker, fibrosis marker, Child score, MELD score


Objective: The micro-RNA-122 (an essential cell differentiation regulator) represents almost 70% of microRNAs in the liver tissue, so changes in peripheral blood indicates liver disorder. We aimed at studying the importance of micro-RNA-122 as a decompensation prognostic indicator in different stages of HCV cirrhosis versus other scoring algorithms. Design: A prospective study of 105 HCV cirrhosis patients divided into 3 equal groups according to the Child score; group1: (n=35) Child A cirrhosis, group 2: (n=35) Child B cirrhosis and group 3: (n=35) Child C cirrhosis. Place and duration: Hepato-gastroenterology and Endemic Medicine department, Kasr Al-Aini Faculty of Medicine, during the period between February-June  2015. Methods: Micro-RNA-122 was measured in serum using quantitative PCR method [real-time reverse transcription (RT)]. Results: Patients with hepatic decompensation (Child B and C) showed a significantly lower serum micro-RNA-122 compared to patients with compensated cirrhosis (Child A) (p<0.001). Meanwhile, there was no significant difference between Child B and C patients (P=0.183). Micro-RNA-122 significantly correlated positively with albumin and sodium while it correlated negatively with INR, serum urea and creatinine. Serum micro-RNA-122  showed significant negative correlations with MELD (p=0.001) and Child scores (p <0.001). Using a cutoff value of 1.51; the sensitivity of micro-RNA-122 for discriminating cirrhotic from non-cirrhotic patients was 81.5%, while the specificity was 90.3%. Conclusion: The more the HCV liver stage advances the lower serum micro-RNA-122 levels become. Therefore, serum micro-RNA-122 could be a promising modality for staging liver disease severity and a predictive as well as a fibrosis indicator in cirrhotic patients.