Peripheral blood was collected during liver biopsy. Serum was separated by centrifuging 5 mL of blood at 1,800 ×g for 10 minutes at 4°C and then stored at -80°C for 3–34 months. The serum M2BPGi level was measured using a Wisteria floribunda agglutinin antibody immunoassay, with a chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay system (HISCL-2000i; Sysmex, Kobe, Japan), as previously reported [19, 20]. The measured serum M2BPGi levels were used to calculate the M2BPGi level cut-off index (COI) using the following equation:

cut-off index (COI) = ([M2BPGi]sample–[M2BPGi]negative control)/ ([M2BPGi]positive control–[M2BPGi]negative control) [9].

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