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Hepatitis & Liver Function

Core Leader:
Tamsin Knox, MD
Tufts University School of Medicine

Core Overview:
The Hepatitis and Liver Function Core will provide centralized, standardized services to investigators studying facets of liver disease and hepatic function in drug users in studies of nutrition and metabolism. It will also be able to assist investigators who seek to integrate liver disease data into the data collected in the multiple populations through the links set up by this Center. The Hepatitis and Liver Function Core will also provide educational, training, and outreach through Core personnel.

Core Services:

Consultation Services

  • Protocol development using appropriate hepatitis and liver function measures. This includes study design, population considerations, frequency of follow-up measures, etc.
  • Inclusion of liver function and hepatitis serology assessment parameters appropriate to the study design and population, including fibrosis markers, interpretation of liver biopsies, pharmacokinetics of drug metabolism, metabolic consequences of liver disease, and screening for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Serum Assays:

  • Measurements of hepatitis serology
    • Hepatitis A, IgM and IgG.
    • Hepatitis B surface antigen, surface antibody, core antibody.
    • Hepatitis C antibod
  • Measurements of chronic hepatitis viruses:
    • Hepatitis B DNA
    • Hepatitis C RNA
    • Hepatitis C genotype
  • Other hepatitis viruses:
    • Hepatitis delta antigen and antibody
    • Hepatitis E
  • Fibrosis markers
    • Fibrotest
    • APRI and other measures including FIB-4
  • Pathologic interpretation of liver biopsies
    • Assessment of fibrosis and inflammation using known scales
    • Central blind reads and coding of liver histologic specimens
    • Assessment and grading of hepatic steatosis
  • Pharmacokinetics of drug metabolism
    • Drug levels of protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcription inhibitors.
    • Alpha-1 acid glycoprotein levels
    • Pharmacokinetic studies of antiretroviral drugs
    • Drug interaction studies between antiretroviral drugs and drugs of abuse
    • Genotyping for SNPs that alter drug metabolism.
  • Screening for hepatocellular carcinoma:
    • Alpha-fetoprotein – if requested by investigator


  • Offer interpretation and assistance with assessing nutritional status in subjects with cirrhosis and/or ascites, determining insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia in chronic liver disease, and total and free testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin measurements.
  • Provide emphasis on studies of primary prevention of hepatitis through screening, vaccination, and counseling.

If you are interested in learning more about this Core’s services, please contact Kim at .





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