Retrospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Hepatol. May 27, 2020; 12(5): 220-229
Published online May 27, 2020. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v12.i5.220
Usefulness of Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer in non-invasive probing liver disease in the Vietnamese population
Thuy Thi Thu Pham, Dat Tan Ho, Toan Nguyen
Thuy Thi Thu Pham, Dat Tan Ho, Toan Nguyen, MEDIC Medical Center, Ho Chi Minh 72517, Vietnam
Author contributions: Pham TTT and Ho DT conceived the investigative study and recruited patients; Nguyen T performed all experimental runs; Pham TTT, Ho DT and Nguyen T analyzed the data and prepared the manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: The experimental procedure strictly follows the ethical codes of conduct as laid out by the Declaration of Helsinki. Institutional review board approval was waived as residual blood was used.
Informed consent statement: Our research follows strictly the Declaration of Helsinki for ethical compliance. Residual blood samples were used for biomarker evaluation and informed consent was waived. No patient identifiers were used and standard of care accorded to patients was not affected by the results of this study.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Thuy Thi Thu Pham, PhD, Assistant Professor, Hepatologist, MEDIC Medical Center, 254 Hòa Hảo Street, District 10, Ho Chi Minh 72517, Vietnam.
Received: January 1, 2020
Peer-review started: January 1, 2020
First decision: February 19, 2020
Revised: March 30, 2020
Accepted: April 7, 2020
Article in press: April 7, 2020
Published online: May 27, 2020

Early diagnosis is critical for successful intervention before liver disease progresses to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.


To examine a novel biomarker for probing early liver disease quickly using an automated immunology system.


This was a cross-sectional study. 140 patients at various stages of liver disease were randomly selected. The cohort consisted of patients who were treatment naïve and currently undergoing therapy. We included patients with diverse liver disease etiologies. Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer (M2BPGi) levels in addition to different clinical parameters, co-morbidities and transient elastography results were collected and compared.


M2BPGi levels were significantly correlated with transient elastography for liver fibrosis staging across all disease etiologies. Statistically significant differences were observed in patients with F0-1; F2 and > F3 liver fibrosis. Further examination showed that M2BPGi levels were two-fold higher in F4 than F3 hepatitis C (HCV) patients. M2BPGi was observed to be etiology-specific and HCV patients had higher mean M2BPGi levels. We also observed significant correlations with aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index and fibrosis-4 index as well as HBV DNA levels. Mean M2BPGi levels for HBV patients with a viral load lower than 2000 IU/mL was 1.75-fold lower than those with a viral load greater than 2000 IU/mL.


M2BPGi was observed to be a good indicator of early liver disease in patients with different etiologies. Our results provide reference cut-offs for different causes of liver disease and demonstrated the utility of this marker for early disease monitoring. This is useful for remote regions in developing countries.

Keywords: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Noninvasive fibrosis markers, Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer, Liver disease

Core tip: Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer levels can be used for non-invasive liver fibrosis staging in the Vietnamese population with mixed etiologies. In early evaluations, significantly higher levels of this marker were observed in cirrhotic patients and showed good correlations with viral load testing in hepatitis B. This marker is convenient and useful, especially in resource limited countries for fast turnaround to assess liver disease.