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Keywords:

  • fibrosis;
  • hepatitis B virus;
  • necroinflammation;
  • steatosis

Abstract

Background and Aims:  Hepatic steatosis is commonly seen in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients. It has been reported to be associated with both metabolic factors and viral factors, and affects the severity of fibrosis in CHC. However, the relationship between hepatic steatosis and chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is unclear. The aims of this study were to investigate the frequency of hepatic steatosis in CHB patients, to identify the factors associated with its presence, and assess the relationship between the stage of steatosis and the severity of fibrosis.

Methods:  Medical records of 153 adult patients with CHB who had undergone a liver biopsy within the past 4 years were included in the study.

Results:  Body mass index (BMI) and age of CHB patients with steatosis was significantly higher than the patients without steatosis (P < 0.05), as determined by the univariate analysis. Steatosis was found to correlate with the BMI values and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, and ALT levels were associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV)–DNA levels and histology activity index (HAI) scores, stages of fibrosis were associated with the HAI score and HBV–DNA, as determined by the multivariate analysis. In contrast, there was no significant association between advanced stages of fibrosis and steatosis.

Conclusion:  Our data indicate that hepatic steatosis is more frequently present in CHB patients than in the general population. We hypothesize that steatosis in CHB patients may be due to metabolic factors and the ability of HBV to indirectly facilitate the development of steatosis. In the present study, steatosis in CHB patients was not found to be associated with the severity of fibrosis.