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Publications (2)6.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: HCV genotypes 2- or 3-infected patients with a rapid virological response (RVR) to therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirins who have a low viral load, noncirrhotic and nonobese may be considered for a shorter course of treatment. However, no studies have assessed host-viral factors associated with relapse in genotype 2 and 3 separately. Accordingly, we assessed whether 12 weeks of pegylated interferon and ribavirin was an optimized regimen for treatment of HCV genotype 2 and 3 with positive predictors of response. Power and sample size were a priori calculated and 96 consecutive chronic hepatitis C patients (53, genotype 2 and 43, genotype 3) without cirrhosis who were not obese and who achieved a RVR to therapy with peg-IFN-α-2a and ribavirin were enrolled. Fibrosis, steatosis, homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance and HCV RNA were predefined variables to be evaluated in relapse. An intention-to-treat analysis was performed. SVR rates were 98% and 84% for genotype 2 and 3, respectively. Analysis of genotype 3 patients who had relapse showed a negative correlation with steatosis (P < 0.0001) and HCV RNA (P < 0.015). Multivariate analysis showed that steatosis was the independent predictor of relapse (OR, 0.988; 95% CI, 0.981-0.993; P < 0.001). Genotype 3 patients with steatosis had a relapse rate of 36.4% and 15.8% in those with high and low viral load, respectively, whereas there was no relapse in those without steatosis. In conclusion, a 12-week course of therapy is sufficient for patients without cirrhosis, not obese and infected with HCV genotype 2 achieve a RVR. This is not the case for genotype 3. Steatosis is the independent predictor of relapse. New therapeutic strategies are necessary for this subgroup of HCV genotype 3.
    Journal of Viral Hepatitis 05/2012; 19(5):346-52. · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HCV and NAFLD are associated with atherosclerosis in general population. The prevalence of atherosclerosis in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients is unknown. We hypothesized that HCV per se and HCV-related steatosis could favour atherosclerosis. Thus, in CHC patients we assessed: (a) the prevalence of atherosclerosis; (b) the role of HCV, cardio-metabolic risk factors and hepatic histology. Overall, 803 subjects were enrolled: (A) 326 patients with liver biopsy-proven treatment naive CHC (175 with and 151 without steatosis); (B) 477 age and gender matched controls, including 292 healthy subjects without steatosis (B1) and 185 with NAFLD (B2). Carotid atherosclerosis (CA), assessed by high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography, was categorized as either intima-media thickness (IMT: >1mm) or plaques (≥ 1.5mm). CHC patients had a higher prevalence of CA than controls (53.7% vs 34.3%; p<0.0001). Younger CHC (<50 years) had a higher prevalence of CA than controls (34.0% vs 16.0%; p<0.04). CHC patients without steatosis had a higher prevalence of CA than B1 controls (26.0% vs 14.8%; p<0.02). CHC with steatosis had a higher prevalence of CA than NAFLD patients (77.7% vs 57.8%, p<0.0001). Viral load was associated with serum CRP and fibrinogen levels; steatosis with metabolic syndrome, HOMA-IR, hyperhomocysteinemia and liver fibrosis. Viral load and steatosis were independently associated with CA. Diabetes and metabolic syndrome were associated with plaques. HCV infection is a risk factor for earlier and facilitated occurrence of CA via viral load and steatosis which modulate atherogenic factors such as inflammation and dysmetabolic milieu.
    Atherosclerosis 02/2012; 221(2):496-502. · 3.71 Impact Factor