Differential hepatic features presenting in Wilson disease-associated cirrhosis and hepatitis B-associated cirrhosis

Zhong, HJ; Sun, HH; Xue, LF; McGowan, EM; Chen, Y

Chen, Y (reprint author), Guangdong Pharmaceut Univ, Affiliated Hosp 1, Dept Gastroenterol, 19 Nonglinxia Rd, Guangzhou 510000, Guangdong, Peoples R China.



BACKGROUND Cirrhosis is a chronic late stage liver disease associated with hepatitis viruses, alcoholism, and metabolic disorders, such as Wilson disease (WD). There are no clear markers or clinical features that define cirrhosis originating from these disparate origins. We hypothesized that cirrhosis is not one disease and cirrhosis of different etiology may have differential clinical hepatic features. AIM To delineate the liver features between WD-associated cirrhosis and hepatitis B- associated cirrhosis in the Chinese population. METHODS In this observational study, we reviewed the medical data of consecutive inpatients who had WD-associated cirrhosis or hepatitis B-associated cirrhosis from January 2010 to August 2018, and excluded patients who had carcinoma, severe heart or pulmonary diseases, or other liver diseases. According to the etiology of cirrhosis, patients were divided into two groups: WD-associated cirrhosis group (60 patients) and hepatitis B-associated cirrhosis group (56 patients). The liver fibrosis degree, liver function indices, and portal hypertension features of these patients were compared between the two groups. RESULTS No inter-group differences were observed in the diagnostic liver fibrosis markers, however, clinical features clearly defined the origin of cirrhosis. WD-associated cirrhosis patients (16-29 years) had lower levels of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and bilirubin, lower prothrombin time, lower incidence of hepatic encephalopathy, and lower portal vein diameter (P < 0.05), compared to cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis B in older patients (45-62 years). Importantly, they had decreased risks of progression from Child-Pugh grade. A to B (odds ratio = 0.046, 95% confidence interval: 0.006-0.387, P = 0.005) and of ascites (odds ratio = 0.08, 95% confidence interval: 0.01-0.48, P = 0.005). Conversely, WD-associated cirrhosis patients had a higher risk of splenomegaly (odds ratio = 4.15, 95% confidence interval: 1.38-12.45, P = 0.011). CONCLUSION WD-associated cirrhosis presents a higher risk of splenomegaly associated with leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, although revealing milder liver dysfunction and portal hypertension symptoms, which recommends WD patients to be monitored for associated complications.

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