Background: Hepatitis C virus infection is currently the most significant public health problem globally and
particularly in Egypt. The outcomes of HCV infection range from asymptomatic chronic infection, with normal or
nearly normal liver functions, to severe chronic hepatitis, evolving rapidly to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Our objective is to asses and evaluates the relationship between liver function tests, serum HCV-RNA positivity and
the severity of liver damage in chronic HCV patients.
Method: We studied 329 patients with chronic HCV, they were categorized into two groups according to the PCR
results: first group were positive PCR (86 %), and second group were negative PCR (14 %). Liver transaminases,
total and direct bilirubin, serum albumin, HCV RNA detection and viral load by real time PCR, and liver biopsy were
done to all patients. Results: This study showed that the liver transaminases were significantly higher in HCV
positive patients than in HCV negative patients (p value <0.0001). We also observed that the comparison between
positive PCR group with negative PCR group revealed that, there were no statistically significant difference
regarding albumin, alkaline phosphate, total bilirubin , direct bilirubin and prothrombin (p=0.35, p=0.80, p=0.26,
p=0.86 and p=0.99 respectively).
Conclusions: high results of liver function tests may be indicator for the severity of liver damage in chronic HCV
patients but also PCR should be done as some cases show normal results while its PCR was high. There is no
relationship between liver function tests and the grade of activity or fibrosis.