Sustained virological response prevents development of insulin resistance in chronic hepatitis C patients

A. M. Migliavacca Center for Liver Disease, First Division of Gastroenterology, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico. .
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.06). 11/2012; 56(5). DOI: 10.1002/hep.25867
Source: PubMed


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with insulin resistance (IR), which is a condition known to influence the progression of liver fibrosis and the response to pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN)/ribavirin (RBV) therapy. We aimed to assess whether a sustained virological response (SVR) after antiviral therapy prevents the development of IR in the long term. Members of the Milan Safety Tolerability study cohort, who received PEG-IFNα2a/RBV or PEG-IFNα2b/RBV, underwent a homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) at the baseline and 24 months after treatment completion. For all patients (n = 431), a liver biopsy sample was scored for grading, staging (Ishak), and steatosis. At the baseline, IR (HOMA value > 2) was detected in 48 patients (12%), and it was associated with body weight (P = 0.03), an HCV load < 0.6 × 106 IU/L (P = 0.006), fibrosis staging ≥ 4 (P = 0.01), and moderate to severe steatosis (P = 0.03). IR did not influence the rates of end-of-treatment response (75% versus 69%, P = 0.4), SVR (63% versus 60%, P = 0.8), or relapse (19% versus 24%, P = 0.5). After treatment, IR developed in 49 of the 384 nondiabetic patients (14%). Although the mean baseline and posttreatment HOMA values were similar in SVR patients (1.11 ± 0.8 versus 1.18 ± 1.1, P = 0.25), patients experiencing treatment failure showed a significant increase in the mean HOMA value at the follow-up visit (1.20 ± 0.85 versus 1.49 ± 1.3, P = 0.007), and there was an increased rate of de novo IR in non-SVR patients versus SVR patients (17% versus 7%, P = 0.007). According to a logistic regression analysis, treatment failure (odds ratio = 2.81, 95% confidence interval = 1.39-5.67, P = 0.004) and a 10% body mass index increase (odds ratio = 6.42, 95% confidence interval = 1.69-24.3, P = 0.006) were significantly associated with the development of de novo IR. Conclusion: In nondiabetic patients with chronic HCV, the achievement of SVR with PEG-IFN and RBV prevents the development of de novo IR.

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    • "Once sustained virological response to antiviral treatment has been achieved, T2DM may be prevented. Aghemo et al. [17] confirmed these results, showing that viral eradication after treatment is also able to reduce the occurrence of insulin resistance significantly. Very intriguing results were shown by a recent study demonstrating that danoprevir, an HCV NS3 protease inhibitor, when used as monotherapy, in parallel with a reduction in viral load is able to reduce IR [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have shown an increased occurrence of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance (IR) and steatosis in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. IR is believed to represent one of the central clinical features of the "metabolic syndrome" and the major pathogenetic factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus. In patients with chronic HCV hepatitis, IR may have several dangerous consequences such as accelerated progression of liver fibrosis, resistance to antiviral therapy and development of hepatocellular carcinoma. According to recent evidence, the global epidemic of metabolic disorders related to incorrect diets will lead physicians to deal with 1.2 billion patients with diabetes in the world in 2025. Given the high prevalence of HCV infection in several countries, metabolic manifestations will contribute to increasing morbidity and mortality in patients with HCV chronic infection in the near future. HCV treatment, shown able to decrease both the occurrence of HCV-related IR and diabetes, may reduce the risk of the associated morbidities.
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