November 21, 2010

Lower liver stiffness in patients with sustained virological response 4 years after treatment for chronic hepatitis C

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Andersen ES, Moessner BK, Christensen PB, Kjær M, Krarup H, Lillevang S, Weis N.

aDepartments of Infectious Diseases, Hvidovre bInfectious Diseases cHepatology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet dDepartments of Infectious Diseases eClinical Immunology, Odense University Hospital fUniversity of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health Sciences, Copenhagen gDepartment of Clinical Biochemistry, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.


OBJECTIVE: Transient elastography (TE) is a noninvasive and well validated method for measurement of liver stiffness. The aim of this study was to use TE to evaluate whether patients with sustained virological response (SVR) have lower liver stiffness than patients with non-SVR after treatment for chronic hepatitis C (CHC).

METHODS: Patients with CHC, who had undergone liver biopsy before treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, were included from four clinical centres in Denmark. All patients were examined with TE and had a blood test taken for hepatitis C virus-virus detection and analysis of alanine aminotransferase, platelet counts and hyaluronic acid.

RESULTS: For 110 (92%) of the 120 patients included, it was possible to obtain a successful measurement of liver stiffness. Of these, 71 (64.5%) had achieved SVR. Median follow-up time was 47 months. Patients with pretreatment minimal fibrosis (F0/F1) in their liver biopsy had median liver stiffness of 5.3 kPa for SVR versus 6.1 kPa for non-SVR (P=0.56). Patients with pretreatment moderate fibrosis (F2/F3) had median liver stiffness of 5.4 kPa for SVR versus 9.4 kPa for non-SVR (P<0.001). Median liver stiffness for patients with pretreatment cirrhosis (F4) was 6.8 kPa for SVR versus 24 kPa for non-SVR (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Examination with TE 4 years after treatment shows that patients with CHC, who have achieved SVR, have significantly lower liver stiffness than patients with non-SVR. This indicates that histological liver outcome improves during the first year after the treatment for CHC.

PMID: 21079513 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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