Serum MFAP4, a novel potential biomarker for liver cirrhosis screening, correlates with transient elastography in NAFLD patients

Reine Kanaan, Cesar Yaghi, Carole Saade Riachy, Anders Schlosser, Aline Hamade, Uffe Holmskov, Myrna Medlej-Hashim, Grith Lykke Sørensen, Rania Jounblat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background and Aim: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of chronic liver disease in different countries. Liver fibrosis is considered as the most appropriate predictor of NAFLD-associated outcome. Microfibrillar-associated protein 4 (MFAP4) is a glycoprotein located in the extracellular matrix. Circulatory MFAP4 has been suggested as a noninvasive biomarker for the assessment of hepatitis C virus and alcoholic liver disease associated liver fibrosis. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between serum MFAP4 and liver fibrosis severity in NAFLD patients. Methods: A case–control study was conducted in which NAFLD patients (n = 25) and healthy participants (n = 12) were recruited. Liver fibrosis/cirrhosis was assessed by transient elastography (TE) and biochemical parameters were collected. Serum MFAP4 was measured by sandwich ELISA based on two monoclonal anti-MFAP4 antibodies and calibrated with a standard of recombinant MFAP4. Results: Serum MFAP4 levels increased with fibrosis severity and were highly upregulated in patients with cirrhosis (F4 fibrosis stage). In addition, serum MFAP4 levels positively correlated with TE measurement and showed significant association with the severely advanced fibrotic stage in NAFLD patients, in multiple linear regression analysis following adjustment for age, gender, and body mass index. Conclusion: This study suggests the use of MFAP4 as a potential diagnostic noninvasive biomarker for cirrhosis screening in NAFLD patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJGH Open
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)197-203
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • cirrhosis
  • MFAP4
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • serum biomarker
  • transient elastography


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