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Role of assessing liver fibrosis in management of chronic hepatitis C virus infection

AuthorsCarmona-Cuenca, Irene; Cordero, Patricia; Ampuero, Javier; Rojas Álvarez-Ossorio, M. Ángeles; Romero-Gómez, Manuel
KeywordsDirect-acting antiviral
Hepatitis C
Liver biopsy
Non-invasive markers
Pegylated interferon
Issue DateOct-2016
CitationClinical Microbiology and Infection 22(10): 839-845 (2016)
AbstractFibrosis progression is common in hepatitis C. Both host and viral factors influence its natural history. Liver fibrosis is a key predictive factor for advanced disease including endpoints such as liver failure, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). METAVIR fibrosis stages F3–F4 have been considered as the threshold for antiviral therapy. However, this aspect is controversial after the advent of new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) because they show an excellent efficacy and safety profile. Moreover, in the DAA era, fibrosis stage seems not to be a predictive factor of a sustained virological response (SVR). Viral eradication decreases liver damage by improving the inflammation, as well as by regressing fibrosis irrespective of the treatment regimen. Non-invasive methods are useful in the assessment of liver fibrosis, replacing liver biopsy in clinical practice; but their usefulness for monitoring fibrosis after SVR needs to be demonstrated. Fibrosis regression has been demonstrated after the eradication of hepatitis C virus infection and is associated with a lower risk of hepatic cirrhosis and liver cancer. However, patients showing advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis must be followed-up after SVR, as risks of portal hypertension and HCC remain.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2016.09.017
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