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Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Pathology - Surgery - Biochemistry

Serum MicroRNA-122 Predicts Survival in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Author: Oliver Waidmann et al.

by Oliver Waidmann, Verena Köberle, Friederike Brunner, Stefan Zeuzem, Albrecht Piiper, Bernd Kronenberger


Liver cirrhosis is associated with high morbidity and mortality. MicroRNAs (miRs) circulating in the blood are an emerging new class of biomarkers. In particular, the serum level of the liver-specific miR-122 might be a clinically useful new parameter in patients with acute or chronic liver disease.


Here we investigated if the serum level of miR-122 might be a prognostic parameter in patients with liver cirrhosis.


107 patients with liver cirrhosis in the test cohort and 143 patients in the validation cohort were prospectively enrolled into the present study. RNA was extracted from the sera obtained at the time of study enrollment and the level of miR-122 was assessed. Serum miR-122 levels were assessed by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and were compared to overall survival time and to different complications of liver cirrhosis.


Serum miR-122 levels were reduced in patients with hepatic decompensation in comparison to patients with compensated liver disease. Patients with ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and hepatorenal syndrome had significantly lower miR-122 levels than patients without these complications. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that the miR-122 serum levels were associated with survival independently from the MELD score, sex and age.


Serum miR-122 is a new independent marker for prediction of survival of patients with liver cirrhosis.