Distribution of iron in the liver predicts the response of chronic hepatitis C infection to interferon therapy

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Pathology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Recent evidence suggests that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (CHCV) who respond to interferon-alpha (IFN) therapy have a lower hepatic iron concentration than those who do not. The object of this study was to assess the concentration and distribution of iron in liver biopsies from 15 patients with CHCV seen at the authors' medical center between June 1992 and March 1993. Patients with complete response to IFN were compared to those with non-complete response with respect to quantitative hepatic iron concentration, serum iron indices, and a detailed analysis of histologic features of hematoxylin-and-eosin and iron-stained pre-IFN biopsies. Patients with non-complete response had significantly higher scores for stainable iron in sinusoidal cells (P = .02) and portal tracts (P = .05) than did patients with complete response. Total hepatic iron scores, mean quantitative hepatic iron, and mean serum ferritin were higher in patients with noncomplete response, but the differences were not significant. In conclusion, iron deposition in sinusoidal cells and portal tracts is significantly less frequent in patients with complete response to IFN than in those with poor or no response, and may be a useful, objective predictor of response to IFN therapy.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Clin Pathol. 1995 Apr;103(4):419-24.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of clinical pathology

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Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID