Serum levels of YKL-40 and PIIINP as prognostic markers in patients with alcoholic liver disease

Camilla Nøjgaard*, Julia Sidenius Johansen, Erik Christensen, Lene Theil Skovgaard, Paul A. Price, Ulrik Becker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Background/Aims: YKL-40 (growth factor) and PIIINP (N-terminal propeptide of Type III procollagen) are potential markers of liver fibrosis. The aim was to evaluate the prognostic value of serum YKL-40 and PIIINP levels in patients with alcoholic liver disease. Methods: Three hundred and seventy patients with alcoholic liver disease were studied in a trial of malotilate with a median follow-up period of 470 days; 75 patients died; 336 patients had a liver biopsy on entry. Serum levels of YKL-40 and PIIINP were determined by radioimmunoassay (RIA). Results: Serum YKL-40 and PIIINP were elevated in the patients compared to controls. Patients with steatosis or no fibrosis had the lowest serum levels of YKL-40 and PIIINP, whereas patients with alcoholic hepatitis and/or cirrhosis had the highest levels. Serum YKL-40 was associated with the presence of fibrosis, and serum PIIINP was also associated with the different grades of fibrosis. Patients with elevated serum YKL-40 or PIIINP had shorter survival than patients with normal serum levels of YKL-40 (P < 0.0001) or PIIINP (P = 0.044). High degree of fibrosis predicted shorter survival (P = 0.004). Conclusions: Serum levels of YKL-40 and PIIINP are elevated in alcoholic patients, related to the presence of liver fibrosis and may provide prognostic information.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Hepatology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)179-186
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 1. Aug 2003


    • Alcoholic liver disease
    • Human cartilage glycoprotein
    • Liver fibrosis
    • N-terminal propeptide of Type III procollagen
    • PIIINP
    • Prognostic marker
    • YKL-40


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