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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 251-259

Serum growth differentiation factor 15 levels as a marker for liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma on top of liver cirrhosis

1 Ministry of Health, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
3 Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Zainab M A Anis
Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Mahalla Hepatology Teaching Hospital, Tanta 31811
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tmj.tmj_173_20

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Background Cirrhosis is the 14th leading cause of mortality globally. Additionally, it is subclassified by clinical stage. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was reported to account for ~4.7% of patients with chronic liver disease in Egypt. Early detection and treatment are highly beneficial. Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) proteins are implicated in the infection, fibrosis, and apoptotic processes of the liver. GDF-15 mRNA is mostly found in the heart, kidney, and lungs, as well as in the liver. The adult liver expresses the greatest amounts of GDF-15 following surgical and pharmacological therapies that produce acute liver damage. Aim This study’s objective was to assess serum GDF-15 levels in individuals with cirrhosis of the liver and HCC on top of cirrhosis of the liver. Patients and methods We have recruited 90 people in three groups: group 1 comprised 35 patients with HCC, group 2 comprised 35 individuals having cirrhosis of the liver, and group 3 comprised 20 nonhepatic individuals who acted as controls. Results In the HCC group, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was significantly higher than in the cirrhosis group, and the cirrhosis group has significantly higher AFP than in the control group. In comparison with the cirrhosis group, and in comparison with the control group, the HCC group had a significant increase in GDF-15 level. Conclusions GDF-15 levels were substantially greater in individuals with HCC compared with patients with cirrhosis and healthy controls. It is more sensitive, specific, and accurate than AFP. Thus, we may regard GDF-15 as a new marker for the diagnosis of HCC.

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