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The role of eltrombopag in the management of hepatitis C virus-related thrombocytopenia

Authors Danish F, Yasmin

Received 15 June 2012

Accepted for publication 31 December 2012

Published 15 March 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 17—30

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HMER.S27100

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Fazal-i-Akbar Danish,1 Saeeda Yasmin2

1James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, United Kingdom; 2Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract: Eltrombopag is a 2nd generation thrombopoietin-receptor agonist. It binds with the thrombopoietin-receptors found on the surfaces of the megakaryocytes & increases platelet production. Many recent studies have suggested a potential role for this novel agent in the treatment of thrombocytopenia associated with hepatitis-C infection. Studies have shown that adjunct treatment with Eltrombopag can help avoid dose reductions/withdrawals of pegylated interferon secondary to thrombocytopenia. It may also have a role in priming up platelet levels to help initiate antiviral therapy. Similarly, chronic liver disease patients with thrombocytopenia who need to undergo an invasive procedure may be potential candidates for short two-week courses of eltrombopag in the periprocedural period to help reduce the risk of bleeding. Besides the price (deemed very expensive and probably not cost-effective), there are some legitimate concerns about the safety profile of this novel agent (most importantly, portal vein thrombosis, bone marrow fibrosis and hepatotoxicity). In this article, the potential role of eltrombopag in the context of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related thrombocytopenia is reviewed. To write this article, a MEDLINE search was conducted (1990 to November 2012) using the search terms “eltrombopag,” “HCV,” and “thrombocytopenia.”

Keywords: liver disease, chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura, thrombopoietin-receptor agonist, romiplostim

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