Background: This study was aimed at investigating the distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in a Chinese population as well as establishing any association between these genotypes and liver function or serum lipid levels among chronic hepatitis C patients.
Methods: A total of 231 HCV RNA positive patients in the South Eastern area of China were enrolled in this study. HCV RNA and HCV genotyping were determined by fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction and gene chip, respectively. An automatic biochemical analyser (HITACH7600-120) was used for assessing liver function and indicators of lipid metabolism.
Results: Genotype 1b was the most common subtype of HCV (77.1%). There were significant differences in viral loads among different kinds of HCV (F=3.292, P=0.012). No significant relationship was observed between HCV genotype and liver function indicators (P>0.05). Apo lipoprotein-B level of patients infected with HCV 3b was lower than those infected with HCV 1b (P=0.003) and HCV 1b/2a (P=0.046). Total cholesterol level in HCV 3b patients was lower than in those infected with HCV 1b (P=0.001) and HCV 2a (P=0.004).
Conclusions: Genotype 1b was most prevalent in some regions of China. HCV genotypes were not associated with liver function, but related to serum lipid levels of Chinese chronic hepatitis C patients.