Hepatitis C: Progression to Liver Fibrosis Starts Early

Adeel A. Butt, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs Department of Medicine Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science University of Pittsburgh School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Adeel A. Butt, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs
Department of Medicine Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Butt: Precise rate of progression of liver disease in Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is unknown because the precise time of infection with HCV is seldom known. Knowledge of liver disease progression is critical to determine the optimal time for treatment.

We found that progression of liver disease starts early after acquiring HCV infection. This is more rapid than was previously thought. About 18% of HCV infected persons develop cirrhosis within 10 years of acquiring HCV infection, which is 3-fold higher than demographically similar HCV uninfected persons.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Butt: Patients with HCV should be monitored more closely and earlier after acquiring infection than we have done previously. This can potentially identify those who have the highest rate of progresion. Such persons can then be prioritized for treatment.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Butt: We need studies to determine the effect of newer Hepatitis C therapies upon progression of liver disease.

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