Link to open access journal – AF
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2017 (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 the January issue of Gastroenterology.
Pierre Nahon, M.D., Ph.D., from the Hôpital Jean Verdier in Bondy, France, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review using data from 1,323 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 six months, as well as endoscopic assessments.
The researchers found that 50.5 percent 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.
WASHINGTON – A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) database study shows that new drug regimens for hepatitis C have resulted in “remarkably high” cure rates among patients in VA’s national health care system.
Of the more than 17,000 Veterans in the study, all chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus at baseline, 75 percent to 93 percent had no detectable levels of the disease in their blood for 12 or more weeks after the end of treatment. The therapy regimens lasted 8 to 24 weeks, depending on patient characteristics.
“This promising news comes as VA is dedicating significant funds to help greater numbers of patients with hepatitis C,” said David Shulkin VA Under Secretary for Health. “In March, we announced our ability to fund care for all Veterans with hepatitis C for fiscal year 2016 regardless of the stage of the patient’s liver disease. VA has long led the country in screening for and treating hepatitis C. As of mid-September 2016 alone, the Department treated more than 100,000 Veterans infected with the virus. More than 68,000 of these patients had been treated with these new highly effective antivirals.”
The VA researchers analyzed data from four subgroups of patients infected with hepatitis C—genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4—and found that genotype 1 patients showed the highest cure rates and genotype 3 the lowest. Genotype 1 was by far the most common type of infection among the four subgroups.