OBJECTIVE: Because many patients with chronic viral hepatitis do not progress to end-stage liver disease, it is possible that host factors such as human leukocyte antigen (HLA) differences are important. Our aims were to determine HLA marker-specific rates of progression to liver transplantation among patients with chronic hepatitis C; and to determine if polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based HLA DRB1 typing can be performed on stored serum samples. METHODS: Forty-two hepatitis C virus RNA-positive liver transplant patients and 87 untransplanted patients were included in a Cox proportional hazards model to test whether the occurrence of certain HLA DRB1 markers were associated with progression to liver transplantation. HLA DRB1 typing was performed on stored serum samples using a PCR method. RESULIS: There were no differences among the HLA DRB1 markers with regard to the HLA marker-specific rate of progression to transplantation among patients with chronic hepatitis C. CONCLUSIONS: HLA DRB1 markers do not appear to be associated with progression of disease in chronic viral hepatitis C. It is possible to perform PCR-based HLA DRB1 typing on stored frozen serum samples. (C) 2000 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.
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