Operational scores in the diagnosis of chronic hepatitis. A semi-quantitative assessment

Vol. 53 No. 1, 2012


N. Stanculet, Adriana Grigoras, O. Predescu, Alina Floarea-Strat, Catalina Luca, Carmen Manciuc, Carmen Dorobat, Irina-Draga Caruntu

Starting from the quantification of the specific lesions for chronic hepatitis B and C, our study focused on (i) the correspondence between the necroinflammatory activity and the fibrosis stage ascertained through the Ishak scoring system, (ii) the classification overlaps and differences of Ishak vs. METAVIR score. The study group consisted of 202 cases with chronic hepatitis B and 751 cases with chronic hepatitis C, diagnosed based on liver biopsies. The fragments of hepatic tissue were routinely processed and stained with Hematoxylin-Eosin, trichrome Szekely, Gordon-Sweet silver impregnation, and Periodic Acid-Schiff. A semiquantitative evaluation was performed using the Ishak (for hepatitis B and C) and the METAVIR (for hepatitis C) scoring systems. Our results revealed that the comparison between hepatitis B and C, based on the necroinflammatory activity and fibrosis, is able to offer through the numeric values of the Ishak scoring system accurate proofs, which support the aggressivity of hepatitis C, because it develops fibrosis more quickly, even on the background of mild necroinflammatory activity. Also, our data showed that the necroinflammatory activity and the fibrosis are not processes which progress in a consistent pattern. The application of the METAVIR scoring system for the cases with chronic hepatitis C confirmed that there is not a direct correlation between necroinflammation and fibrosis. The Ishak scoring system provides through the wide range of numeric values attributed for the evaluation of necroinflammatory activity and fibrosis far more precise criteria for the appraisal of the degree of damage to the hepatic parenchyma at the time of the diagnosis. Supplementary, the METAVIR scoring system allows for the hepatitis C an assessment of the entire histologic activity, including the interface hepatitis and the associated lobular necrosis components. The scoring systems have unavoidably strengths and weaknesses, but the choice of a specific one must reflect the consensus between the pathologists and the clinicians, relying on their experience.

Corresponding author: Irina-Draga Caruntu, Professor, MD, PhD, e-mail: irinadragacaruntu@gmail.com

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