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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


MORENO, M. et al. Long-term evolution of liver histopathology in patients with chronic hepatitis C and sustained response. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2005, vol.97, n.12, pp.860-869. ISSN 1130-0108.

Objective: to evaluate the evolution of histological changes observed in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and sustained response (SR) compared to non-responders (NR) to antiviral treatment. Methods: a retrospective study was performed in a total of 176 patients with CHC. These were divided into two groups: 132 SR and 44 NR. All had undergone a basal liver biopsy prior to treatment onset. A second biopsy was performed in 143 patients, 104 SR and 39 NR. Inflammatory activity and the degree of liver fibrosis was measured by Metavir units (MU). The progression and regression index of fibrosis was calculated before and after treatment. The time elapsed between the two biopsies was 5.9 ± 0.3 years for SR and 6.6 ± 0.3 years for NR (NS). Results: at baseline, 53% of SR patients had mild, chronic active hepatitis (CAH), while this was moderate in 43% of NR patients (p < 0.0001). The time elapsed between baseline and post-treatment liver biopsies was 5.9 ± 0.3 years for SR subjects and 6.6 ± 0.4 years for NR subjects (NS). After antiviral treatment 47% of SR subjects presented a normal liver or minimal changes, whilst mild CAH persisted in 34.4% and moderate CAH in 37.5% of NR subjects. Necro-inflammatory activity decreased by 50% in SR subjects and by 15% in NR subjects (p < 0.0001), and fibrosis decreased by 82% in SR subjects (p < 0.0001) and by 66% in NR subjects (p < 0.001). Fibrosis progression index was 0.14 MU/year in SR subjects and 0.21 MU/year in NR subjects (NS). Fibrosis regression index was -0.11 in SR subjects and -0.14 in NR subjects (NS). Conclusions: in our series of patients with CHC and SR, we observed histological normalization in approximately fifty per cent of cases during long-term follow-up. NR subjects also showed improvement, especially in the fibrosis score. Both groups showed a marked regression of liver fibrosis after treatment.

Keywords : Treatment of hepatitis C; Sustained response; Long-term follow-up; Liver fibrosis.

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