Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Liver iron is predictive of death in alcoholic cirrhosis: a multivariate study of 229 consecutive patients with alcoholic and/or hepatitis C virus cirrhosis: a prospective follow up study
  1. N Ganne-Carriéa,
  2. C Christidisa,
  3. C Chastangb,
  4. M Ziolc,
  5. F Chapelc,
  6. F Imbert-Bismutd,
  7. J-C Trincheta,
  8. C Guettierc,
  9. M Beaugranda
  1. aService d'Hépato- Gastroentérologie, Hôpital Jean Verdier, 93143 Bondy Cedex, France, bDépartement de Biostatistique et Informatique Médicale, Hôpital Saint-Louis, AP/HP, 75475 Paris Cedex, France, cService d'Anatomie Pathologique, Hôpital Jean Verdier, dService de Biochimie, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, 75013 Paris
  1. Dr N Ganne-Carrié, Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Hôpital Jean Verdier, Avenue du 14 Juillet, 93143 Bondy Cedex, France.


BACKGROUND/AIMS A study was undertaken of liver biopsy samples from 229 consecutive patients with alcoholic or hepatitis C virus related cirrhosis who were prospectively followed until January 1996 to evaluate the influence of liver iron content on survival and the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma.

METHODS Hepatic iron content was measured with a validated semiquantitative score, and its predictive value for survival and the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma was assessed.

RESULTS 130 patients had detectable iron at enrolment. During follow up (57 (28) months), 95 patients died and 39 patients developed hepatocellular carcinoma. No significant relation was found between hepatic iron and the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma. Conversely, the presence of iron was predictive of death in alcoholic patients (p = 0.007) by the log rank test but not in patients with hepatitis C virus related (p = 0.71) or mixed (p = 0.98) cirrhosis. The predictive value of hepatic iron content in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis was confirmed by the Cox model using either a binary coding (p = 0.009; relative risk = 2.27; 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 4.19) or the continuous values (p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that hepatic iron enhances liver lesions caused by alcohol but not those caused by hepatitis C virus.

  • cirrhosis
  • liver
  • iron
  • survival
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • alcohol

Statistics from


  • Abbreviations used in this paper:
    hepatitis C virus
    hepatocellular carcinoma
    alanine aminotransferase

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Society of Gastroenterology