Collagen content was measured in 38 needle liver biopsies (8 steatosis, 8 chronic hepatitis, 7 fibrosis and 15 cirrhosis) by a new colorimetric method based on the selective capacity of Sirius red and Fast green to bind to collagen and noncollagenous proteins, respectively. The values were compared with those obtained after determination of the degree of fibrosis by morphometry in the same tissue.

In biopsies with cirrhosis and fibrosis, there was a higher amount of collagen than in biopsies with chronic hepatitis and steatosis. Furthermore, there was a highly significant direct correlation between the collagen content measured colorimetrically and the degree of fibrosis determined morphometrically (r = 0.77, p < 0.001), suggesting that this new colorimetric method is useful in measuring the degree of fibrosis in needle liver biopsies.