Changes in Liver Fibrosis at the End of Interferon Therapy

Abstract: Background/Aims: The aims of the study were to determine, in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with alpha interferon: (i) changes in the morphometric evaluation of liver fibrosis at the end of treatment and 6, 12 and 18 months after treatment; (ii) the predictive value of histologic lesions for the response to treatment, in particular the predictive value of morphometric evaluation of liver fibrosis.

Methods: Seventy patients with chronic hepatitis C who participated in two trials of recombinant interferon alpha 2b treatment mere studied. Liver specimens mere obtained before and at the end of treatment and 6, 12 or 18 months later. Histologic lesions mere assessed according to the Knodell system. Quantitative study of total fibrosis and of Disse space collagen was done by the computerized automated morphometric method.

Results: A significant decrease in morphometric Disse space collagen was observed at the end of treatment and 6 months later. This decrease was also observed, although it mas not significant, 12 and 18 months after treatment. There was no relationship between this decrease and the biochemical and virological responses or the dose of interferon. The pretreatment Knodell activity score, but not the morphometric evaluation of fibrosis, was a significant predictor of sustained response.

Conclusion: A decrease in Disse space collagen, as assessed by the sensitive morphometric method, was observed at the end of and 6 months after treatment. This observation is consistent with an anti-fibrogenetic effect of alpha interferon. Mild or moderate histologic activity was associated with a sustained response to therapy.

TITLE: Changes in liver fibrosis at the end of alpha interferon therapy and 6 to 18 months later in patients with chronic hepatitis C: quantitative assessment by a morphometric method;
AUTHOR: Duchatelle V, Marcellin P, Giostra E, Bregeaud L, Pouteau M, Boyer N, Auperin A, Guerret S, Erlinger S, Henin D, Degott C;
SOURCE: JOURNAL OF HEPATOLOGY 29: (1) 20-28 JUL 1998

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