Background: Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic liver diseases. The plasma level of 8-isoprostane, a product of lipid peroxidation, is a marker of oxidative stress in vivo. The aim of the present study was to clarify whether the degree of lipid peroxidation, as measured by the plasma level of 8-isoprostane, influences the progression of chronic liver diseases and hepatocarcinogenesis.
Methods: Plasma 8-isoprostane levels were investigated in 14 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), 75 with chronic hepatitis C (CH-C), 14 with cured CH-C, 14 with HCV-positive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC-C) and 38 healthy volunteers. 8-Isoprostane was measured by enzyme immunoassay after affinity column purification.
Results: Plasma 8-isoprostatne was significantly elevated in NAFLD (11.9 [3.8–56.8] pg/mL), CH-C (10.1 [4.2–134.5] pg/mL) as compared to controls (6.3 [3.6–11.1] pg/mL). Plasma 8-isoprostane values were positively correlated with body mass index in NAFLD (P < 0.05) and with total cholesterol in cured CH-C (P < 0.01). 8-Isoprostane levels were not significantly related to sex, age, biochemical data or iron metabolism markers in all liver diseases. In addition, after the administration of peg-interferon, the values of 8-isoprostane improved in almost all patients, reaching values of healthy subjects.
Conclusions: 8-Isoprostane values are elevated in patients with NAFLD and CH-C as compared to healthy controls. Oxidative stress caused by increased lipid peroxidation is involved in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and CH-C.