TITLE: Long-term follow-up of chronic hepatitis C
patients with sustained virological response to
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
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.
SOURCE: J Hepatol 1999 May;30(5):783-7
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