Assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is critical for predicting disease progression and determining future antiviral therapy. LecT-Hepa, a new glyco-marker derived from fibrosis-related glyco-alteration of serum alpha 1-acid glycoprotein, was used to differentiate cirrhosis from chronic hepatitis in a single-center study. Herein, we aimed to validate this new glyco-marker for estimating liver fibrosis in a multicenter study. Overall, 183 CHC patients were recruited from 5 liver centers. The parameters Aspergillus oryzae lectin (AOL)/Dature stramonium lectin (DSA) and Maackia amurensis lectin (MAL)/DSA were measured using a bedside clinical chemistry analyzer in order to calculate LecT-Hepa levels. The data were compared with those of seven other noninvasive biochemical markers and tests (hyaluronic acid, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteases-1, platelet count, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index [APRI], Forns index, Fib-4 index, and Zeng's score) for assessing liver fibrosis using the receiver-operating characteristic curve. LecT-Hepa correlated well with the fibrosis stage as determined by liver biopsy. The area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity of LecT-Hepa were 0.802, 59.6%, and 89.9%, respectively, for significant fibrosis; 0.882, 83.3%, and 80.0%, respectively, for severe fibrosis; and 0.929, 84.6%, and 88.5%, respectively, for cirrhosis. AUC scores of LecT-Hepa at each fibrosis stage were greater than those of the seven aforementioned noninvasive tests and markers. Conclusion: The efficacy of LecT-Hepa, a glyco-marker developed using glycoproteomics, for estimating liver fibrosis was demonstrated in a multicenter study. LecT-Hepa given by a combination of the two glyco-parameters is a reliable method for determining the fibrosis stage and is a potential substitute for liver biopsy.
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