[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Most data on the effects of iron chelation therapy for patients with liver fibrosis come from small studies. We studied the effects of the oral iron chelator deferasirox on liver fibrosis and necroinflammation in a large population of patients with iron overload β-thalassemia.
We studied data from 219 patients with β-thalassemia, collected from histologic analyses of biopsy samples taken at baseline and after at least 3 years of treatment with deferasirox. Treatment response was assessed from liver iron concentrations at baseline and the end of the study. Liver fibrosis, necroinflammation, and markers of iron overload and liver enzymes were recorded. Patients were also assessed, by serologic analysis at baseline, for hepatitis C virus infection.
By the end of the study, stability of Ishak fibrosis staging scores (change of -1, 0, or +1) or improvements (change of ≤-2) were observed in 82.6% of patients; Ishak necroinflammatory scores improved by a mean value of -1.3 (P<.001). Improvements in fibrosis stage and necroinflammation were independent of hepatitis C virus exposure or reduction in liver iron concentration defined by the response criteria. Absolute changes in concentrations of liver iron by the end of the study did not correlate with improved Ishak fibrosis or necroinflammatory scores.
Deferasirox treatment for 3 or more years reversed or stabilized liver fibrosis in 83% of patients with iron-overloaded β-thalassemia. This therapeutic effect was independent of reduced concentration of liver iron (defined by the response criteria) or previous exposure to hepatitis C virus.
Gastroenterology 07/2011; 141(4):1202-11, 1211.e1-3. · 12.82 Impact Factor