Long-Term Follow-Up of HCV Patients with Sustained Virological Response to Alpha-Interferon


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TITLE: Long-term follow-up of chronic hepatitis C patients with sustained virological response to alpha-interferon.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: This study aimed to determine the long-term outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients who respond to interferon treatment with clearance of serum HCV RNA.

METHODS: We performed a long-term biochemical, virological, and histological follow-up of all sustained virological responders, defined as those who became HCV RNA negative at follow-up 6 months after the end of treatment, from 3 controlled interferon trials performed in Sweden between 1988 and 1994.

RESULTS: At biochemical and virological long-term follow-up performed in 26 sustained virological responders 3.5-8.8 years (mean +/- SD, 5.4+/-1.6 years) after the end of IFN therapy, 22 patients (85%) had normal serum ALT levels, and 24 patients (92%) were HCV RNA negative in serum. Liver biopsies performed in 23 patients 2.1-8.7 years (mean +/- SD, 5.0+/-1.8 years) after end of treatment showed no or minimal inflammation, whereas mild and probably irreversible fibrosis was seen in a few patients.

CONCLUSION: In this well-defined material of sustained responders to IFN therapy, the long-term prognosis was excellent. Nearly all had a durable response, not only biochemically and virologically, but more importantly also histologically with normalisation or near normalisation of previous histological lesions.

AUTHOR: Reichard O, Glaumann H, Fryden A, Norkrans G, Wejstal R, Weiland O Department of Infectious Diseases at Danderyd, University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. olle.reichard@inf.ds.sll.se
SOURCE: J Hepatol 1999 May;30(5):783-7

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