Sustained virologic response and clinical outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis

Veldt, Bart J; Heathcote, E Jenny; Wedemeyer, Heiner; Reichen, Juerg; Hofmann, W Peter; Zeuzem, Stefan; Manns, Michael P; Hansen, Bettina E; Schalm, Solko W; Janssen, Harry L A (2007). Sustained virologic response and clinical outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis. Annals of internal medicine, 147(10), pp. 677-84. Philadelphia, Pa.: American College of Physicians

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BACKGROUND: Clinical outcomes of chronic hepatitis C infection in patients with advanced fibrosis include liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, and death. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether sustained virologic response to treatment for hepatitis C is associated with improved clinical outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: 5 hepatology units of tertiary care centers in Europe and Canada caring for patients with chronic hepatitis C treated between 1990 and 2003. PATIENTS: Consecutively treated patients with chronic hepatitis C who had biopsy-proven advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis (Ishak score, 4 to 6). MEASUREMENTS: Sustained virologic response, defined as absence of detectable hepatitis C virus RNA at 24 weeks after the end of treatment, and clinical outcomes, defined as death (liver-related or non-liver-related), liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma. RESULTS: Of 479 patients, 29.6% had sustained virologic response and 70.3% did not. Median follow-up was 2.1 years (interquartile range, 0.8 to 4.9 years). Four patients with and 83 without sustained virologic response had at least 1 outcome event. Sustained virologic response was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the hazard of events (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.21 [95% CI, 0.07 to 0.58]; P = 0.003). The effect was largely attributable to a reduction in liver failure, which developed in no patients with and 42 patients without sustained virologic response (5-year occurrence, 0% vs. 13.3% [CI, 8.4% to 18.2%]; unadjusted hazard ratio, 0.03 [CI, 0.00 to 0.91]). LIMITATIONS: Because few events occurred in the sustained virologic response group, the study had limited ability to detect differences between groups in individual outcomes. In addition, the study was retrospective; selection and survival biases may therefore influence estimates of effect. CONCLUSION: Sustained virologic response to treatment is associated with improved clinical outcomes, mainly prevention of liver failure, in patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Visceral Research [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Reichen, Jürg


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health






American College of Physicians


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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:54

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 17:57

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URI: (FactScience: 38049)

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