Background/Aims: Oxidative DNA damage, identifiable in the formation of 8-h
ydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), is relevant in the mutagenesis/carcinogenesi
s process. The aim of this study was to assess 8-OHdG levels in patients wi
th hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in relation to extent of liver damage
and HCV genotype.
Methods: 8-OHdG levels were measured in DNA from circulating leukocytes of
110 anti-HCV positive subjects belonging to the population of the Dionysos
study, subgrouped in: 50 anti-HCV+ with persistently normal ALT, 48 with ch
ronic hepatitis and 12 with cirrhosis, Twenty normal subjects served as Con
trols. 8-OHdG levels were assayed by HPLC/electrochemical detector.
Results: 8-OHdG levels rose (P < 0.00001) from Controls to HCV C; chronic h
epatitis and cirrhosis were associated with a further increase (P < 0.02 ve
rsus HCV+). Genotype 1 was associated with higher levels of 8-OHdG (P < 0.0
4). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that, after correction for
potential confoundings, 8-OHdG levels correlated (P < 0.02) with presence
and extent of liver damage.
Conclusions: An accumulation of 8-OHdG in circulating leukocytes is a relia
ble marker of the extent of liver damage in HCV + patients and is present i
n particular in genotype 1 infection. This genomic damage may contribute to
liver carcinogenesis by causing persistent DNA changes. (C) 2001 European
Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
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