Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Association between Apolipoprotein E Genotype and Treatment Response in Chronic Hepatitis C

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2013 June, Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 69-74.

Association between Apolipoprotein E Genotype and Treatment Response in Chronic Hepatitis C

Yu Kyung Kim1, Kyung-Min Lee2, Won-Kil Lee2
1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, 2Department of Clinical Pathology,/Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes a chronic infection, resulting in progressive liver damage. Recent studies have described the protective effect of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype on liver damage in cases of HCV infection. Their findings were explained by the influence of the ApoE genotype on HCV pathology, which seems to be integrally linked to the process of HCV uptake into hepatocytes. We investigated whether specific ApoE genotypes were associated with the different clinical aspects of HCV infection in patients with chronic HCV.

Methods: From the whole blood of 196 chronic HCV hepatitis patients, the ApoE genotypes were determined by an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction. Several markers, including liver enzymes, platelet counts and HCV viral loads, as well as the radiologic findings, were investigated. In order to estimate the treatment outcome, the sustained virologic response (SVR), early virologic response (EVR) and end-of-treatment response (ETR) were determined according to the HCV viral loads.

Results: Based on genotyping, 15.8% (n=31) of the patients had the ApoE E4 allele (E2/E4, E3/E4, E4/E4), while 84.2% (n=165) were missing the ApoE E4 allele (E2/E2, E2/E3, E3/E3). Several clinical results of the E4-positive group, including liver enzymes, albumin, platelet counts, HCV viral loads and hepatic coarseness were not significantly different from those of E4-negative group. There were no differences in the SVR, EVR and ETR between patients with the ApoE E4 allele and those without the ApoE E4 allele.

Conclusion: There was no significant effect of the ApoE genotype on the clinical aspects of HCV infection and the anti-viral response, including SVR, EVR and ETR, in chronic HCV hepatitis patients. (Ann Clin Microbiol 2013;16:69-74)


Apolipoprotein E genotype, Hepatitis C virus, Polymorphism