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Hepatic fibrosis changes in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection who respond to direct-acting antivirals

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) can potentially slow or reverse liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Studies of fibrosis changes after treatment with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are limited.

OBJECTIVES

We aimed to assess the impact of DAAs on fibrosis in HCV treatment responders.

DESIGN

Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING

Tertiary care centers.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

This study included adult patients who received DAA treatment for HCV (naïve and experienced) from June 2015 to January 2019 who were treatment responders. Biochemical and hematological data and noninvasive fibrosis markers were recorded at baseline and follow-up.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Aspartate aminotransferase/platelet ratio index (APRI), fibrosis-4 score (FIB-4) and liver stiffness measurements (LSM) at baseline and follow-up.

SAMPLE SIZE AND CHARACTERISTICS

172 HCV treatment responders, mean (SD) age 54.1 (14.1) and body mass index 28.8 (6.5) kg/m2 at baseline; 96 (55.8%) were females.

RESULTS

Fifty-eight (33.7%) patients were HCV treatment-experienced. Most patients were genotype 4 (n=125, 73%) and the mean follow-up was 141 (57.9) weeks. Compared with baseline, changes in alanine aminotransferase (P<.001), aspartate aminotransferase (P<.001), and albumin (P=.01) were statistically significant. Changes in LSM (15.09 kPa [11.4] vs. 10.19 kPa [7.4], P<.001), APRI (0.81 [0.7] vs. 0.34 [0.2], P<.001), and FIB-4 (1.99 [1.4) vs.1.35 [0.9], P<.001), and AST/ALT ratio (0.86 [0.32] vs. 0.95 [0.41], P=.015) were statistically significant. Differences in many of the same parameters were statistically significant between patients with low fibrosis (F0-F1) (n=59, 34.3%) and significant fibrosis (≥F2) (n=113, 65.7%).

CONCLUSIONS

Our findings confirm that clearance of HCV with DAAs is associated with significant improvement in fibrosis as assessed by noninvasive liver fibrosis measures, which supports the concept of post-treatment fibrosis regression. Long follow-up studies are needed to assess the impact on morbidity and mortality.

Auteur(s) : Alswat, K., et al.