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Serum thymosin beta4 levels in patients with hepatitis B virus-related liver failure.

Han T, Liu Y, Liu H, Zhu ZY, Li Y, Xiao SX, Guo Z, Zhao ZG. World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Feb 7;16(5):625-30.


Department of Hepatology, Tianjin Institute of Hepatobiliary Disease, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Artificial Cells, Tianjin Third Central Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, 83 Jintang Road, Tianjin 300170, China.



To investigate whether serum thymosin beta4 can provide diagnostic or prognostic information in liver failure patients caused by chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.


Serum thymosin beta4 levels were measured in 30 patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), 31 patients with chronic liver failure (CLF), 30 patients with compensated liver cirrhosis (CR) and 32 patients with chronic hepatitis B and 30 healthy controls. Serum thymosin beta4 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Child-Pugh and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores were calculated for each patient on admission.


Compared with healthy controls, serum thymosin beta4 levels in ACLF, CLF, CR and chronic hepatitis B patients were significantly lower, 6.5047 (4.7879-10.5314) microg/mL vs 0.4632 (0.2759-0.8768) microg/mL, 0.6981 (0.5209-1.2008) microg/mL, 1.8053 (0.8110-2.3397) microg/mL, 3.7803 (1.8570-6.4722) microg/mL, respectively (P < 0.001). The levels of thymosin beta4 in liver failure (ACLF or CLF) patients were markedly lower than that in CR (P < 0.001), and a difference was also found between CLF and ACLF patients (P = 0.038). In patients with chronic liver disease, there was a positive relationship between thymosin beta4 levels and albumin, choline esterase, and platelet (P < 0.001), and negative relationship with alanine aminotransferase (P = 0.020), aspartate aminotransferase, total bilirubin, international normalized ratio of prothrombin time, and Child-Pugh and MELD scores (P < 0.001). Of the 61 liver failure patients, the thymosin beta4 levels of non-survivors were significantly lower than that of survivors (P = 0.007). Receiver operating characteristics analysis identified a thymosin beta4 cutoff level of 0.5708 microg/mL for predicting poor prognosis in all liver failure patients. The serial thymosin beta4 values were observed in 13 liver failure inpatients. Lower initial values were observed in the death. While greater improvement in thymosin beta4 value was found in those who recovered from the disease.


Serum thymosin beta4 can be used as an important potential predictor for liver failure caused by chronic HBV infection.


    • Total cases enrolled = 10468
    • Total centers across Asia = More than 95
    • Total manuscripts = More than 40
    • Total video conferences conducted = 97
    • Total abstract presented in conference by AARC group = More than 50

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