Patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus and advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis are at risk for disease progression and hepatic decompensation.
Dr Everson and colleagues from Canada determined the effects on hepatic histology of treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a or interferon alfa-2a for 48 weeks in patients with paired biopsies.
|Sustained virological response was the only factor contributing to improvement in fibrosis|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team obtained liver biopsies at baseline and 6 months after end of treatment.
Histological and virological responses were compared.
The researchers identified 40 patients attaining sustained virological response demonstrated the greatest improvements in fibrosis and inflammation.
The team found 59 patients who cleared Hepatitis C virus during treatment, but later relapsed.
These patients experienced less improvement in fibrosis and inflammation.
The team noted that 85 were no responders, and showed no significant improvement in inflammation or fibrosis.
Multiple regression analysis showed that the only factors contributing to improvement in fibrosis were sustained virological response.
Dr Everson's team concluded, "These findings indicate that virological response to peginterferon alfa-2a improves inflammation and fibrosis in Hepatitis C virus patients with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis."
"Improving virological response and maintaining ideal body weight are critical for achieving optimal histological outcomes in Hepatitis C virus patients."