Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-80

Hepatitis C virus-associated thrombocytopenia is not related to serum thrombopoietin levels

1 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Assuit University, Assiut, Egypt
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Assuit University, Assiut, Egypt
3 Department of Tropical Medicine and Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Assuit University, Assiut, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Madiha M El-Attar
Department of Tropical Medicine and Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Assuit University, Assiut 71111
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.32181

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Objective: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the most important health problems in Egypt. Thrombocytopenia is a common finding in subjects with chronic hepatitis. The precise etiology of this thrombocytopenia is still obscure. There is increasing interest in the potential role of thrombopoietin (TPO) as a cause of this thrombocytopenia. The aim of this work was to determine serum TPO levels in HCV-positive patients and to test the assumption that HCV-associated thrombocytopenia could be due to low TPO levels. Materials and Methods: Forty patients with HCV infection were included in this study and classified into three groups according to the degree of thrombocytopenia (IA-mild, IB-moderate, II-none). Twenty five healthy volunteers served as control (Group III). All patients and controls had undergone full clinical assessment and the following laboratory investigations: complete blood count, liver function tests, prothrombin time and concentration and serum TPO level. Results: TPO levels were significantly elevated in Group IA as compared to the control group ( P <0.05). No significant difference was found between groups IA and II. TPO in Group IB was slightly, but insignificantly reduced compared to Group IA but did not differ statistically from the control or Group II. Significant negative correlation was found between serum TPO levels and platelet counts in Groups IA, IB and II (r=-0.421, P <0.05). No correlations were found between serum TPO levels and liver function tests or hematological parameters. Conclusion: An impaired TPO production did not explain the development of thrombocytopenia in HCV and other mechanisms must be involved.

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