Background: Liver cirrhosis is associated with high morbidity and mortality. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of
endogenous small non-coding RNAs, are becoming increasingly recognized as crucial regulators in gene expression
networks. In particular, a low serum miRNA-122 level was associated with hepatic decompensation so it can be used as
a prognostic marker for liver decompensation.
Circulating miRNA-12 was examined aiming to clarify its prongnostic value in patients with liver cirrhosis and to
discover its relation with patient’s survival.
Methods: Gene expression level of miRNA 122 was extracted and assessed in sera of 100 patients with liver cirrhosis,
using quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) . MiRNA 122 expression levels were compared to liver
function tests, MELD score, overall survival time and to different manifestation of decompensation.
Results: Serum samples from patients with hepatic decompensation showed significant down regulation of
miRNA122compared to those from patients with compensated liver cirrhosis. Patients with ascites, and hepatorenal
syndrome had significantly lower miRNA-122 levels than patients without these complications. A univariate Cox
regression analysis revealed a significant association between miRNA-122 levels and overall survival Multivariate Cox
regression analysis revealed that only miRNA-122 serum levels and platelet count were independent factor for survival.
MiRNA-122 sensitivity and specificity for the predection of decompensation in cirrhotic patients were 100.0% and
90.1% respectively the best cut off point value of 0.892 (AUC= 0.9429)
Conclusions: Serum miRNA-122 is a useful new independent prognostic marker in patients with liver cirrhosis.