Size or the number of portal tracts: which matters in a liver biopsy core in chronic hepatitis C?

Om Parkash, Agha Khan University
Khalid Mumtaz, Aga Khan University
Zubair Ahmad, Agha Khan University
Saeed Hamid, Aga Khan University
Fatima Jafri, Aga Khan University
Wasim Jafri, Aga Khan University



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).