Liver- and Non-Liver Related Critical Events Down in HCV and Cirrhosis

HealthDay News — For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and biopsy-proven cirrhosis, sustained viral response (SVR) is associated with a reduction in critical events, both liver and non-liver related, according to research published in Gastroenterology.

Pierre Nahon, MD, PhD, from the Hôpital Jean Verdier in Bondy, France, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review using data from 1323 patients in a prospective viral cirrhosis cohort. Patients had HCV infection and biopsy-proven cirrhosis, were Child-Pugh class A, and had no previous liver complications. Patients received anti-HCV treatment before or after inclusion and underwent ultrasound examination every 6 months, as well as endoscopic assessments.

The researchers found that 50.5% of the patients achieved SVR after a median follow-up of 58.2 months. SVR correlated with reduced incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic decompensation (hazard ratios, 0.29 and 0.26, respectively). The risks of cardiovascular events and bacterial infections were also lower with SVRs (hazard ratios, 0.42 and 0.44, respectively). In patients with SVRs, but not patients with viremia, metabolic features correlated with higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. SVR correlated with a reduction in overall mortality (hazard ratio, 0.27) and death from liver-related and non-liver-related causes.

“A longer follow-up evaluation is required to accurately describe and assess specific risk factors for complications in this population,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Nahon P, Bourcier V, Layese R, et al; ANRS CO12 CirVir Group. Eradication of hepatitis C virus infection in patients with cirrhosis reduces risk of liver and non-liver complications. Gastroenterology. 2017;152:142-156.e2. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2016.09.009