We studied the relationship of serum levels of human hepatocyte growth factor (hHGF) to causative viruses and clinical features in 63 patients at our hospital with serologically diagnosed acute viral hepatitis. Serum levels of hHGF were not correlated with the type of hepatitis virus (A, B, and C) during the acute phase (p<0.60) but were correlated with results of the hepaplastin test (p<0.01). Furthermore, the difference in serum levels of hHGF between severe (levels on hepaplastin test<40 %) and nonsevere cases of hepatitis was significant (p<0.001), and serum levels of hHGF became normal as levels of alanine aminotransferase decreased. However, serum levels of hHGF in prolonged cases of hepatitis (time until normalization of alanine aminotransferase>13 weeks) tended to be slightly lower than in nonprolonged cases (p<0.47). These results suggest that serum levels of hHGF are useful to determine the prognoses of patients with severe hepatitis and to estimate the time until liver damage heals.
The detectability of superficial-type carcinoma of the gallbladder by ultrasonography (US) and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) were investigated. Eight patients with such carcinoma of the gallbladder were reviewed. They had undergone both US and EUS previous to surgery. The tumor was detected in 3 patients by US, 2 patients with II a + II b-type carcinoma and 1 patient with II a-type carcinoma. Those lesions were visualized as localized thickening of the gallbladder wall or as broad-based tumor. In 2 patients, lesions were not initially detected by US, but were shown by US after the examination by EUS. The tumor was detected by EUS also in 1 case of II b + II a-type carcinoma besides those 3 patients mentioned above. All four of these lesions were visualized as broad-based tumor by EUS. It was difficult to detect pure lI b-type or small II a-type carcinoma even by EUS. In patients with concomitant acute cholecystitis or gallbladder stone, it was difficult to evaluate the abnormal findings of the gallbladder wall.