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Two methods of assessment of methotrexate hepatotoxicity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  1. P D Hall,
  2. M J Ahern,
  3. L R Jarvis,
  4. P Stoll,
  5. M A Jenner,
  6. H Harley
  1. Department of Medicine, Flinders University of South Australia.


    Serial liver biopsy specimens from 18 patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving a weekly dose of methotrexate 7.5-20 mg for a minimum of 12 months were assessed semiquantitatively and by a microcomputer image analysis system. The semiquantitative histological method showed a significant increase in pericellular collagen and in overall disease while morphometry showed a significant increase in pericellular, perivenular, and portal tract collagen. There was a significant correlation between the two methods, but morphometry had the advantage of objectivity and efficiency. There was no correlation between the increase in collagen and the accumulated dose of methotrexate, which suggests that other factors in addition to methotrexate may contribute to liver injury.

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