1Center for Infectious Diseases, Beijing You'an Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100069, China.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
Cytokines have been reported to be involved in the cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Many aspects on the correlation between minimal HE (MHE) and cytokine levels were still unclear.
Two hundred eighty-nine HBV-infected cirrhotic patients were grouped: non MHE (n = 156), MHE (n = 98) and clinical HE (CHE, n = 213). Another 88 healthy volunteers were included as controls. Clinical and laboratory findings and levels of ten serum cytokines were analyzed.
All tested cytokines were significantly elevated in cirrhotic patients and patients with CHE compared with controls. Statistical analysis showed only IL-6, IFNγ and IL-17a were correlated MHE (all three p < 0.001). Multivariate regression analysis indicated that serum IL-6 and IL-17a levels were independent risk factors for MHE. Moreover, all patients with MHE had IL-17a levels higher than 49 pg/mL, whereas those without MHE had IL-17a levels lower than 49 pg/mL.
IL-6, IFNγ, and IL-17a were correlated with MHE in HBV-infected patients. Two independent risk factors (IL-6, IL-17a) for MHE were identified. Our findings pointed out the crucial roles of cytokines in MHE in HBV-infected patients.