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Long-term outcome of chronic hep C after sustained virological response to interferon-based therapy

A study published ahead of print in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics examines long-term outcome of chronic hepatitis C after sustained virological response to interferon-based therapy.

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Although the short-term benefits of a sustained virological response to interferon-based therapies of chronic hepatitis C are well known, the long-term consequences of sustained virological response are less clear.

Dr Koh and colleagues assessed changes in markers of disease activity, and fibrosis in patients followed up to 23 years post-sustained virological response.

The research team reported that the first 103 sustained virological response patients at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center were evaluated.

Serum markers before treatment and at the last visit were compared.

The team of doctors assessed that evaluations after 2007 included transient elastography.

Of 103 patients, 3 subsequently relapsed 0.7, 6.3 and 6.5 years post therapy.

The researchers reported that the remaining 100 patients maintained sustained virological response at final follow-up.

Transient elastography was performed in 69 patients and was normal in 60%
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

No patients developed hepatic decompensation, but one with pre-treatment cirrhosis died 12 years post sustained virological response of hepatocellular carcinoma.

The team of doctors assessed that in comparison to pre-treatment values, markers improved at follow-up, including mean ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase, IgG, platelet count and AST to platelet count ratio index.

Transient elastography was performed in 69 patients and was normal in 60%, moderately elevated in 31% and cirrhotic range in 9%.

The team found that transient elastography and platelet counts at follow-up correlated with fibrosis on pre-treatment liver biopsy.

Dr Koh and colleagues commented, "In 97% of patients with chronic hepatitis C, sustained virological response is durable without evidence of disease progression, although some degree of hepatic fibrosis may persist and patients with pre-treatment cirrhosis are at continuing low risk for hepatocellular carcinoma."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013: DOI: 10.1111/apt.12273
26 March 2013

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