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Serum Galectin-3 Levels in Children with Chronic Hepatitis B Infection and Inactive Hepatitis B Carriers

Ünal Uluca, Velat Şen, Aydın Ece, İlhan Tan, Duran Karabel, Fesih Aktar, Müsemma Karabel, Hasan Balık, Ali Güneş

Department of Pediatrics, Dicle University, Medcal School, Diyarbakır, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1376-1380

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894035

Available online:

Published: 2015-05-13

BACKGROUND: Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is common worldwide. Follow-up of patients by the use of non-invasive techniques may be valuable in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to investigate serum galectin-3 (GAL-3) levels for monitoring disease status in children with chronic HBV infection.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty-two patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 30 inactive HBV carrier patients, and 30 matched healthy controls were enrolled in the study. We performed basic laboratory tests: serum glucose, albumin, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), total bilirubin, prothrombin time, and activated partial thromboplastin time. In addition, serum GAL-3 levels were measured by ELISA technique.
RESULTS: Significantly higher serum GAL-3 levels (16.5±3.6, 1.1±0.3, 0.7±0.5 ng/ml, respectively, p<0.001) and ALT levels (80.2±30.6, 26.8±12.6, 28.1±4.4 IU/L, respectively, p<0.001) were found in the CHB group compared with the inactive carriers and the control groups. There were no significant differences in ALT levels and GAL-3 levels or between inactive HBV carriers and the control groups (p>0.05, for each). Significantly higher GGT levels were found in the CHB group (51.3±27.5 IU/L) compared with the inactive HBV carriers (35.7±10.1 IU/L) and the control group (31.3±9.5 IU/L) (p<0.001, and p=0.004, respectively). A significant correlation was found between GAL-3 and ALT levels in the CHB group (r=0.82, p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that serum GAL-3 level may be a beneficial indicator of chronicity in hepatitis B infection in children.

Keywords: Alanine Transaminase - blood, Adolescent, Aspartate Aminotransferases - blood, Biomarkers - blood, Blood Glucose - analysis, Carrier State - diagnosis, Child, Diagnosis, Differential, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Galectin 3 - blood, Hepatitis B, Chronic - diagnosis, Hyperbilirubinemia - blood, Partial Thromboplastin Time, Prothrombin Time, Serum Albumin - analysis, gamma-Glutamyltransferase - blood