The relation of 25-hydroxy vitamin D concentrations to liver histopathology, seasonality and baseline characteristics in chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 2 or 3 infection
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2020, 15 (8), e0237840. 10.1371/journal.pone.0237840
Background and objectives The hydroxylation to 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) occurs in the liver and the impact of liver disease on vitamin D is unclear. This study evaluated the relationship between vitamin D concentrations and hepatic histopathology, seasonality and patient characteristics in well-characterized patients having undergone a liver biopsy. Method 25(OH)D was measured post-hoc in pre-treatment serum from 331 North European patients with chronic HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection (NORDynamIC study). Liver biopsies were scored for fibrosis and inflammation according to the Ishak protocol, and graded for steatosis. Non-invasive markers of hepatic fibrosis as well as baseline viral and host characteristics, including genetic polymorphisms rs2228570, rs7975232, and rs10877012 were also evaluated. Results Mean 25(OH)D concentration was 59 ±23 nmol/L, with 41% having values <50 nmol/L and 6% were <30 nmol/L. 25(OH)D correlated with fibrosis (r = -0.10, p ≤0.05) in univariate but not in multivariate analyses. No association was observed between 25(OH)D and hepatic inflammation, but with steatosis in HCV genotype 2 infected patients. None of the genetic polymorphisms impacted on 25(OH)D levels or fibrosis. 25(OH)D levels were significantly inversely correlated to BMI (r = -0.19, p = 0.001), and was also associated with season and non-Caucasian ethnicity. Conclusion Fibrosis was not independently associated with 25(OH)D concentration and no association was seen with hepatic inflammation, but HCV genotype 2 infected patients with moderate-to-severe steatosis had lower 25(OH)D levels compared to those without steatosis. A high percentage had potential risk of 25(OH)D deficiency, and BMI, seasonality and ethnicity were independently associated with 25(OH)D as previously reported.