Clinical outcomes of chronic Hepatitis C infection in patients with advanced fibrosis include liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, and death.
Dr Bart Veldt and colleagues investigated whether sustained virologic response to treatment for Hepatitis C is associated with improved clinical outcomes.
|30% of patients had sustained virologic response, and 70% did not|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
The research team conducted a retrospective cohort study in 5 hepatology units of tertiary care centers in Europe and Canada.
The researchers assessed 479 patients with chronic Hepatitis C treated between 1990 and 2003.
The patients had biopsy-proven advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis.
Sustained virologic response was defined as absence of detectable Hepatitis C virus RNA at 24 weeks after the end of treatment.
The research team evaluated clinical outcomes, including death, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
The researchers found that 30% of patients had sustained virologic response, and 70% did not.
Median follow-up was 2 years.
The team noted that 4 patients with, and 83 without sustained virologic response had at least 1 outcome event.
Sustained virologic response was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the hazard of events.
The team found the effect was largely attributable to a reduction in liver failure.
Liver failure developed in no patients with sustained virological response, and 13% of patients without sustained virologic response.
The researchers found that few events occurred in the sustained virologic response group.
The researchers reported limited ability to detect differences between groups in individual outcomes.
Dr Veldt's team concluded, "Sustained virologic response to treatment is associated with improved clinical outcomes, mainly prevention of liver failure, in patients with chronic Hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis."