Sustained virological response halts fibrosis progression: A long-term follow-up study of people with chronic hepatitis C infection
AuthorMei, SLGCY; Thompson, AJ; Christensen, B; Cunningham, G; McDonald, L; Bell, S; Iser, D; Nguyen, T; Desmond, PV
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
AffiliationMedicine and Radiology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMei, S. L. G. C. Y., Thompson, A. J., Christensen, B., Cunningham, G., McDonald, L., Bell, S., Iser, D., Nguyen, T. & Desmond, P. V. (2017). Sustained virological response halts fibrosis progression: A long-term follow-up study of people with chronic hepatitis C infection. PLOS ONE, 12 (10), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185609.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5655473
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Long-term follow-up studies validating the clinical benefit of sustained virological response (SVR) in people with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection are lacking. Our aim was to identify rates and predictors of liver fibrosis progression in a large, well characterized cohort of CHC patients in whom paired liver fibrosis assessments were performed more than 10 years apart. METHODS: CHC patients who had undergone a baseline liver biopsy pre-2004 and a follow up liver fibrosis assessment more than 10 years later (biopsy or liver stiffness measurement (LSM) using transient elastography [FibroScan]) were identified. Subjects who had undergone a baseline liver biopsy but had no follow up fibrosis assessment were recalled for LSM. Fibrosis was categorised as mild-moderate (METAVIR F0-2 / LSM result of ≤ 9.5 kPa) or advanced (METAVIR F3-4/ LSM >9.5 kPa). The primary objective was to assess the association between SVR and the rate of liver fibrosis progression over at least 10 years, defined as an increase from mild-moderate fibrosis at baseline liver biopsy (METAVIR F0-2) to advanced fibrosis at follow-up liver fibrosis assessment. RESULTS: 131 subjects were included in this analysis: 69% male, 82% Caucasian, 60% G1 HCV, 25% G3 HCV. The median age at F/U fibrosis staging was 57 (IQR 54-62) years with median estimated duration of infection 33-years (IQR 29-38). At F/U, liver fibrosis assessment was performed by LSM in 86% and liver biopsy in 14%. The median period between fibrosis assessments was 14-years (IQR 12-17). 109 (83%) participants had received interferon-based antiviral therapy. 40% attained SVR. At F/U, there was a significant increase in the proportion of subjects with advanced liver fibrosis: 27% at baseline vs. 46% at F/U (p = 0.002). The prevalence of advanced fibrosis did not change among subjects who attained SVR, 30% at B/L vs 25% at F/U (p = 0.343). However, advanced fibrosis became more common at F/U among subjects with persistent viremia: 10% at B/L vs 31% at F/U (p = 0.0001). SVR was independently associated with protection from liver fibrosis progression after adjustment for other variables including baseline ALT (p = 0.011), duration of HCV infection and mode of acquisition. CONCLUSION: HCV eradication is associated with lower rates of liver fibrosis progression. The data support early treatment to prevent long-term liver complications of HCV infection.
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