Evaluation of Depression as a Risk Factor for Treatment Failure in Chronic Hepatitis C

Department of Infectious Diseases, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark.
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.19). 08/2010; 52(2):430-5. DOI: 10.1002/hep.23699
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Major Depression Inventory (MDI) was used to estimate the value of routine medical interviews in diagnosing major depression among patients receiving peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (n = 325). According to criteria from the MDI and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), 19 patients (6%) had major depression at baseline. An additional 114 (37%) developed depression while on HCV combination therapy, with baseline MDI score and female sex independently predicting the emergence of major depression during treatment in a multivariate analysis. Only 36 (32%) of the 114 patients developing major depression according to MDI/DSM-IV criteria were correctly diagnosed during routine medical interviews. The emergence of major depression frequently led to premature discontinuation of peginterferon/ribavirin therapy, and an on-treatment MDI score increment exceeding 30 points (i.e., a validated marker of idiopathic DSM-IV major depression) was correlated with impaired outcome of HCV therapy (P = 0.02). This difference was even more pronounced among patients with an on-treatment increase in MDI score greater than 35 points (P = 0.003). Conclusion: We conclude that (1) depressive symptoms among patients undergoing HCV therapy are commonly overlooked by routine clinical interviews, (2) the emergence of depression compromises the outcome of HCV therapy, and (3) the MDI scale may be useful in identifying patients at risk for treatment-induced depression.

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    ABSTRACT: Interferon alpha (IFN-α) is the approved standard of care for chronic hepatitis C and B. Unfortunately, it has neuropsychiatric side-effects that have a major impact upon the quality of life and the drug adherence. The mechanism of IFN-α-induced behavioral changes is complex, involving interactions between the immune system, the endocrine system, the monoaminergic systems and the opioid receptors. Recent studies support the neurodegeneration hypothesis as a possible mechanism of IFN-α-induced depressive behavior. Although a meta-analysis showed that antidepressant pretreatment effectively reduces the incidence and severity of depressive symptoms, irrespective of pre-existing psychiatric disorders, it is not approved for prophylactic use. The "on demand" treatment strategy is justified as the majority of patients have only mild depressive symptoms. Patients with risk factors for depression undergoing IFN-α therapy need to be regularly screened and followed-up by a psychiatric specialist. Further studies should be conducted to show which therapy is the most appropriate to reduce the neuropsychiatric symptoms that are related to the use of IFN-α and to investigate the clinical significance of IFN-α-induced neurodegeneration.
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    ABSTRACT: Background The scale of depression in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) and those who have received orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is poorly characterised. Clinicians are uncertain of how best to manage depression within these patients.AimsTo review the literature evaluating both the prevalence and impact of depression in patients with CLD and post-OLT, and to assess the safety and efficacy of antidepressant use within this context.MethodsA PubMed search using the phrases ‘chronic liver disease’, ‘cirrhosis’, ‘liver transplantation’, ‘depression’, ‘antidepressant’ and the names of specific causes of liver disease and individual antidepressants.ResultsOver 30% of cirrhotic patients have depressive features, and they experience worse clinical outcomes than nondepressed cirrhotic patients. CLD patients with chronic hepatitis C are particularly prone to depression, partly related to the use of interferon therapy. OLT patients with depression have higher mortality rates than nondepressed patients; appropriate antidepressant use reverses this effect. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are effective and generally safe in both CLD and OLT patients.Conclusions Depression is much more prevalent in CLD or OLT patients than is generally recognised, and it adversely affects clinical outcomes. The reasons for this relationship are complex and multifactorial. Antidepressants are effective in both CLD and post-OLT, although lower doses or a reduced dosing frequency may be required to minimise side effects, e.g. exacerbation of hepatic encephalopathy. Further research is needed to establish optimal management of depression in these patients, including the potential role of nonpharmacological treatments.
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 08/2014; 40(8). DOI:10.1111/apt.12925 · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychiatric comorbidity is a common problem in patients with substance use disorders. Patients with psychiatric diseases and/or substance abuse have an increased risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Furthermore, psychiatric problems occur frequently during antiviral treatment and may be associated with the use of interferon alpha (IFN-alpha) but also with the primary psychiatric condition. As a consequence, substance abuse and/or acute psychiatric problems are still important reasons for nontreatment of chronic HCV infection. However, prospective and controlled data from recent years showed that if an interdisciplinary treatment is provided, patients with substance use disorders and/or psychiatric diseases do not differ regarding sustained virologic response or IFN-alpha-associated complications such as depression when compared with controls. Moreover, depression as the most important acute IFN-alpha-associated psychiatric adverse event can be acutely treated or even prevented by antidepressant pretreatment. Other, more rare but severe complications such as mania, psychotic symptoms, or delirium need individual psychiatric interventions.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 07/2013; 57(suppl 2):S111-S117. DOI:10.1093/cid/cit266 · 9.42 Impact Factor


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May 21, 2014