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Impact of hepatitis C virus genotype-4 eradication following direct acting antivirals on liver stiffness measurement

Authors Tag-Adeen M, Sabra AM, Akazawa Y, Ohnita K, Nakao K

Received 25 May 2017

Accepted for publication 18 July 2017

Published 6 October 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 45—53


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gerry Lake-Bakaar

Mohammed Tag-Adeen,1,2 Ahlam Mohamed Sabra,1 Yuko Akazawa,2 Ken Ohnita,2 Kazuhiko Nakao2

1Department of Internal Medicine, Qena School of Medicine, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt; 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Nagasaki School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan

Background: Liver fibrosis is the most important prognostic factor in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients, and Egypt shows the highest worldwide HCV prevalence with genotype-4 predominance. The aim of this study was to investigate the degree of liver stiffness measurement (LSM) improvement after successful HCV eradication.
Patients and methods: The study included 84 chronic HCV Egyptian patients, and was conducted at Qena University Hospital from November 1, 2015 till October 31, 2016. LSM was obtained by FibroScan® before starting direct acting antiviral (DAA) treatment and after achieving sustained virologic response-24 (SVR-24). Based on baseline LSM, patients were stratified into F0–F1, F2, F3 and F4 groups (METAVIR). LSM and laboratory data after achieving SVR-24 was compared with that before starting therapy in each fibrosis group (F0-F4), p-value <0.05 was statistically significant.
Results: Following DAA treatment, 80 patients achieved SVR-24; of these, 50 were males (62.5%), mean age: 54.2±7.6 years, and mean body mass index: 28.6±2.2 kg/m2. Mean baseline LSM dropped from 15.6±10.8 to 12.1±8.7 kPa post-SVR; the maximum change of −5.8 occurred in F4 versus −2.79, −1.28 and +0.08 in F3, F2 and F0–F1 respectively (p<0.0001). At baseline, 41 patients were in the F4 group; only 16 (39%) regressed to non-cirrhotic range (<12.5 kPa), while 25 (61%) were still cirrhotic despite achieving SVR-24 (p<0.0001). Patients who achieved LSM improvement (n=64) have had significantly higher baseline aspartate transferase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT). Also, those patients showed significant improvement in AST, AST/platelets ratio index (APRI) and fibrosis-4 index (Fib-4) after achieving SVR; 91% showed AST improvement (p=0.01) and APRI improvement (p=0.01) and 81% showed Fib-4 improvement (p=0.04). Females, diabetics, patients with S3 steatosis and patients older than 50 years showed less LSM improvements than their counterparts. Baseline LSM ≥9 kPa, bilirubin ≥1 mg/dl, ALT ≥36 U/L and AST ≥31 U/L were significant predictors for LSM improvement.
Conclusion: Successful HCV genotype-4 eradication results in significant LSM improvement; the best improvement occurs in F4 patients. But as the majority of cirrhotics are still at risk for liver decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma development despite achieving SVR-24, early detection and treatment are highly recommended.

Keywords: hepatitis C virus, direct acting antivirals, liver stiffness measurements, FibroScan, transient elastography

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