Objectives: A direct relationship between cystatin C levels and the severity of hepatic disease has been revealed in our previous study. This study was aimed to consider whether a correlation exists between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which have been proven to be involved in liver cirrhosis, and cystatin C to reflect the severity of hepatic disease. Design and Methods: A total of 154 consecutive patients with various liver diseases were recruited to determine their serum levels of cystatin C, MMP-2 and-9, together with other hepatic parameters. These were compared with 40 normal controls. Results: Average levels of MMP-2 and cystatin C were significantly higher in patients while MMP-9 was significantly lower, as compared to controls. A linear regression analysis has revealed a direct relationship between cystatin C and MMP-2 (Y = 83.39 + 270.56X, R = 0.38, P <0.001), as well as between MMP-2 and the severity of liver diseases. Conclusion: This is the first study to demonstrate a correlation between cystatin C and MMP-2, suggesting that there may be certain interactions between cystatin C and MMP-2 in patients with hepatic diseases.
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