The effect of achieving a sustained virological response following interferon-alpha treatment on the clinical outcomes in Hepatitis C-related cirrhosis is unknown.
Dr Tommaso Stroffolini and colleagues from Italy assessed the response to interferon-alpha treatment in patients with cirrhosis.
The research team evaluated the risk of liver-related complications, hepatocelluar carcinoma and liver-related mortality.
The team developed a retrospective database including all consecutive patients with Hepatitis C-related, histologically proven cirrhosis.
The patients were treated with interferon-alpha monotherapy between 1992 and 1997.
|The incidence of liver-related deaths was about 1|
Sustained virological response was recorded as undetectable serum Hepatitis C virus-RNA by polymerase chain reaction 24 weeks after interferon discontinuation.
The researchers assessed hepatocelluar carcinoma by ultrasound every 6 months.
The researchers evaluated all independent predictors of all outcomes by Cox regression analysis.
Of 920 patients, the team classified 124 as achieving a sustained virological response.
The incidence rates per 100 person-years of liver-related complications, and hepatocelluar carcinoma was 0, and 0.7, respectively, among sustained virological response.
The team observed that the incidence rates of liver-related deaths was 0.2 among patients with sustained virological response.
Among non-sustained virological response, the incidence of liver-related complications, and hepatocellular carcinoma was 2.
Among non-sustained virological response, the incidence of liver-related deaths was about 1.
The research team found that non-sustained virological response was associated with a higher risk of liver-related complications.
The team observed that non-sustained virological response was associated with hepatocelluar carcinoma, and liver-related mortality.
Dr Stroffolini's team concluded, “In patients with Hepatitis C-related, histologically proven cirrhosis, achievement of a sustained virological response after interferon-alpha therapy was associated with a reduction of liver-related mortality.”
"This lowered both the risk of complications, and hepatocelluar carcinoma development.”
“Irrespective of sustained virological response achievement, all patients should continue surveillance because the risk of occurrence of hepatocelluar carcinoma was not entirely avoided.”