Longitudinal Liver Stiffness Assessment in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Undergoing Antiviral Therapy

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 10/2012; 7(10):e47715. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047715
Source: PubMed


Liver stiffness (LS) measurement by means of transient elastography (TE) is accurate to predict fibrosis stage. The effect of antiviral treatment and virologic response on LS was assessed and compared with untreated patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC).
TE was performed at baseline, and at weeks 24, 48, and 72 in 515 patients with CHC.
323 treated (62.7%) and 192 untreated patients (37.3%) were assessed. LS experienced a significant decline in treated patients and remained stable in untreated patients at the end of study (P<0.0001). The decline was significant for patients with baseline LS ≥ 7.1 kPa (P<0.0001 and P 0.03, for LS ≥9.5 and ≥7.1 kPa vs lower values, respectively). Sustained virological responders and relapsers had a significant LS improvement whereas a trend was observed in nonresponders (mean percent change -16%, -10% and -2%, for SVR, RR and NR, respectively, P 0.03 for SVR vs NR). In multivariate analysis, high baseline LS (P<0.0001) and ALT levels, antiviral therapy and non-1 genotype were independent predictors of LS improvement.
LS decreases during and after antiviral treatment in patients with CHC. The decrease is significant in sustained responders and relapsers (particularly in those with high baseline LS) and suggests an improvement in liver damage.

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    • "Recently, some studies [18,37-41] evaluated the use of TE for the assessment of short- and long-term longitudinal changes in liver stiffness during and after antiviral treatment in patients with chronic HCV infection. The results of these studies validated these techniques also in a longitudinal evaluation of liver stiffness values for monitoring treatment response and in clinical management of HCV chronic liver disease. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) is a HCV-related lymphoproliferative disorder generally associated with advanced liver disease. Liver stiffness has been significantly correlated with histopathological stage of fibrosis. Moreover, it was influenced by necroinflammatory activity. Rituximab (RTX) is a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody inducing transient B lymphocytes depletion that was shown to be useful and safe in the majority of HCV MC patients, leading also to improvement of cirrhotic syndrome. Aim of this study was to evaluate the modifications of liver stiffness following RTX treatment in HCV-related MC patients.Materials and methods: Fourteen consecutive patients (10 F, 4 M; mean age 60.43 +/- 43) with HCV-related chronic hepatitis (n = 10) or cirrhosis (n = 4) and MC, eligible for RTX treatment, were prospectively enrolled. Intravenous injection of 1 g of RTX was performed at day 0 and at day 15. Assessment of stiffness was carried out by Fibroscan(R) (Echosens, Paris-France) at baseline, 15 days after the first infusion, and at month 1, 3 and 6 after therapy. MC symptoms significantly improved during the study, especially during the first 3 months. Liver stiffness observed 3 months after treatment was significantly reduced when compared with pre-treatment values (p = 0.01). This difference disappeared after 6 months of follow-up. Cytofluorimetric analysis showed a decrease of CD19+ peripheral blood cells, with the nadir at month 3 after therapy and B cell compartment reconstitution after 6 months. This study, for the first time showed that RTX-treatment in HCV-related MC induces a reduction of liver stiffness that is strictly associated with the B-cell depletion.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 01/2014; 12(1):21. DOI:10.1186/1479-5876-12-21 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Liver stiffness has been suggested as a parameter of fibrosis progression/regression in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. AIM: To evaluate stiffness before and after peginterferon-ribavirin treatment. METHODS: Stiffness was prospectively measured in 74 HCV patients, 32 genotypes 1/4 (43.25%) and 42 genotypes 2/3 (56.75%), before, at end of treatment, and after 3 years of follow-up (49 patients). On the same study day, 21 patients underwent liver biopsy. RESULTS: In 55 patients with sustained virological response (74.32%), liver stiffness decreased significantly at end of therapy (6.8±4.9kPa) vs. baseline (9.5±6.9kPa, p=0.04). The decrease vs. baseline was maintained in 30 sustained virological response patients after 3 years follow-up (6.8±4.6kPa vs. 10.8±8.5kPa, p=0.0141). No difference was found at end of treatment vs. baseline (10.1±4.7kPa vs. 9.7±4.2kPa, p=0.825) and after 3 years of follow-up vs. baseline (10.2±3.4kPa vs. 9.7±4.2kPa, p=0.765) in null responders. Similar results were found in relapsers at end of treatment vs. baseline (13.7±7.7kPa vs. 15.2±8.2kPa, p=0.74), and after 3 years of follow-up vs. baseline (16.9±10.0kPa vs. 15.2±8.2kPa, p=0.734). Pre-treatment stiffness >12kPa was significantly associated with no SVR (p<0.025), RR=2.44 (95%C.I. 1.17-5.07). CONCLUSION: Liver stiffness may be useful to assess long-term antiviral treatment response.
    Digestive and Liver Disease 05/2013; 45(10). DOI:10.1016/j.dld.2013.03.023 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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