Size or the number of portal tracts: which matters in a liver biopsy core in chronic hepatitis C?
Liver biopsy has an important role in staging of fibrosis (SoF) and grading of inflammation (GoI) in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients. The effect of size and number of portal tracts (NoP) on grading and staging of liver biopsy was evaluated. A total of 150 consecutive liver biopsy core (LBC) of patients with CHC were obtained. There were 98 (65.3%) males. Mean length of LBC was 1.45 ± 0.48 cm. Mean number of portal tracts (NoP) was 11±4.6. Mean length of LBC was greater (1.60±0.45 cm) in stage 4 (n=41; 27.3%) and lesser (1.28+0.39) in stage 1 (n=23; 15%, p=0.04). The mean NoP were 8.5, 10.6 and 13.1 in GoI 1, 2 and 3 respectively (p < 0.001). The mean NoP were 7.6, 11.1, 11.3 and 14.5 in SoF 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively (p < 0.0001). There was a good correlation between number of portal tracts and length of LBC (r2=0.56).