Thrombopoietin serum levels are elevated in patients with hepatitis B/C infection compared to other causes of chronic liver disease

Patrick Schöffski, Frank Tacke, Christian Trautwein, Michael Uwe Martin, Martin Caselitz, Hartmut Hecker, Michael Peter Manns, Arnold Ganser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background/aims: Thrombocytopenia in patients with advanced liver disease may stem from a deficient hepatic thrombopoietin production. Methods: We determined the relationship between thrombopoietin. thrombocytopenia, aetiology and extent of liver damage by incorporating serum thrombopoietin measurements in the pretransplant evaluation of 111 patients with liver disease. Results: The extent of thrombocytopenia was related to the underlying cause of disease. The platelet count directly correlated with factor V, II, fibrinogen, and PTT, and a negative correlation was found for splenic size and Child's stage. The thrombopoietin concentrations were age-dependent, and no significant difference resulted between the median thrombopoietin level of liver disease patients with age-matched healthy controls. Thrombopoietin concentrations and platelet counts were not correlated. Although noncirrhotic patients had higher platelet counts than those with Child's A-C cirrhosis (p < 0.001, U-test), no such difference was found in thrombopoietin levels. Patients with hepatitis B and/or C had lower platelet counts compared to patients with nonviral diseases (p < 0.001), and their median thrombopoietin concentrations were significantly higher (p < 0.001). Conclusion: We conclude that thrombocytopenia in patients with liver disease is unlikely to be explained only based on a deficient hepatic production of thrombopoietin. Patients with chronic viral hepatitis have significantly elevated thrombopoietin levels; the involved pathomechanisms require further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Hepatitis
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver diseases
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Thrombopoietin


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