03 Feb Liver Fibrosis Starts Early After Hepatitis C Infection
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Butt: Studying clinical consequences of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is often limited by the lack of knowledge of actual time of infection. We used the Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV-Infected Veterans (ERCHIVES), a well-established national cohort of HCV infected veterans and corresponding HCV-uninfected controls, to identify patients with a known time frame for HCV infection. Our primary aim was to determine the rate of liver fibrosis progression among HCV-infected persons over time, with and to determine factors associated with development of cirrhosis and hepatic decompensation among these persons.
Among 1840 persons who were HCV+ and 1840 HCV− controls, we found that fibrosis progression started early after HCV infection tapered off after 5 years. After 10 years of follow-up, 18.4% of HCV+ and 6.1% of HCV- persons developed liver cirrhosis. Nine years after diagnosis of cirrhosis, only 1.8% of HCV+ and 0.3% of HCV- persons had developed hepatic decompensation.
MedicalResearch: What clinicians and should patients take away from your report?
Dr. Butt: The main messages are that liver fibrosis starts early after Hepatitis C infection, though progression is still slow over time. Hence screening for liver fibrosis or liver damage should start early.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Butt: We need to design studies to find out if clinical consequences, e.g. liver failure, liver cancer, death, etc. can be prevented or delayed using early interventions like newly approced HCV therapies.
Butt AA1, Yan P2, Lo Re V 3rd3, Rimland D4, Goetz MB5, Leaf D5, Freiberg MS1, Klein MB6, Justice AC7, Sherman KE8; for the ERCHIVES (Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV Infected Veterans) Study Team.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Adeel A. Butt, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA (2015). Liver Fibrosis Starts Early After Hepatitis C Infection MedicalResearch.comm