Objective The diagnosis of amyloidosis still relies on biopsy, but there has been a growing demand for the development of a specific noninvasive diagnostic technique. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) acts on a variety of epithelial cells in multiple ways and is predominantly produced by mesenchymal cells and macrophages. In the present study, we measured the serum HGF level in patients with amyloidosis and investigated its usefulness for the diagnosis of this disease. Methods The subjects were 18 patients diagnosed as having amyloidosis by biopsy. We also measured serum HGF in 47 patients with chronic glomerulonephritis, 32 patients on hemodialysis, and 24 healthy volunteers. The serum HGF level was measured using an HGF ELISA kit. Results The serum HGF level of patients with amyloidosis was significantly increased compared with that of healthy volunteers, patients with chronic glomerulonephritis, and hemodialysis patients (2.26±2.73 ng/ml versus 0.20±0.04 ng/ml, 0.23±0.08 ng/ml, and 0.18±0.07 ng/ml respectively, p<0.0001). There was no significant difference between amyloid light-chain and amyloid A amyloidosis, but the serum HGF level of amyloidosis patients who died within 1 year of measurement was significantly higher than that of patients who lived for more than 1 year (2.83±2.85 ng/ml versus 0.49±0.26 ng/ml, p<0.01). Conclusions The serum HGF level was significantly elevated in both amyloid light-chain and amyloid A amyloidosis and was a very useful indicator of suspected amyloidosis as well as a potential prognostic indicator. The serum HGF level may become a useful indicator for diagnosing amyloidosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine