Mallet, V. et al. Brief communication: the relationship of regression of cirrhosis to outcome in chronic hepatitis C. Ann. Intern. Med. 149, 399-403
The effect of regression of cirrhosis in chronic hepatitis C is unknown.
To evaluate the relation between regression of cirrhosis and clinical outcome in patients with chronic hepatitis C after antiviral therapy.
A cohort of patients with cirrhosis treated between 1988 and 2001.
Hepatology unit of a tertiary care center in France.
96 patients with chronic hepatitis C and biopsy-proven cirrhosis (METAVIR score F4) who were treated with an interferon-based regimen and had at least 1 posttreatment liver biopsy. Patients were followed until November 2006.
Occurrence of a combined end point of liver-related events (ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, variceal bleeding, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver transplantation) and death in patients with regression of cirrhosis (defined as a decrease from 4 to <or=2 METAVIR units on posttherapy liver biopsy).
The median follow-up was 118 months (interquartile range, 86 to 138 months). Eighteen patients had regression of cirrhosis. The incidence of the combined end point per 100 patient-years was 0 in patients with regression of cirrhosis and 4 in patients without regression of cirrhosis (P = 0.002, log-rank test). The transplantation-free survival rate at 10 years was 100% in patients with regression of cirrhosis and 74.2% in patients without regression of cirrhosis (P = 0.025).
Selection of patients was retrospective; selection and survival biases may have influenced the estimates of the overall rate of regression of cirrhosis. The low number of patients who experienced regression of cirrhosis precludes analysis of factors that could predict regression of cirrhosis.
Regression of cirrhosis occurs after antiviral therapy in some patients with chronic hepatitis C. Regression is associated with decreased disease-related morbidity and improved survival.
Available from: Michal Cohen
- "Exciting clinical evidence has demonstrated that cirrhosis not only undergoes histological reversion [Friedman and Bansal, 2006], but can also be associated with improved clinical outcomes [Mallet et al. 2008]. Resolution of fibrosis is likely due to increased activity of interstitial collagenases and decreased TIMP expression, contributing to the clearance of activated HSCs. "
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ABSTRACT: Fibrosis accumulation is a dynamic process resulting from a wound-healing response to acute or chronic liver injury of all causes. The cascade starts with hepatocyte necrosis and apoptosis, which instigate inflammatory signaling by chemokines and cytokines, recruitment of immune cell populations, and activation of fibrogenic cells, culminating in the deposition of extracellular matrix. These key elements, along with pathways of transcriptional and epigenetic regulation, represent fertile therapeutic targets. New therapies include drugs specifically designed as antifibrotics, as well as drugs already available with well-established safety profiles, whose mechanism of action may also be antifibrotic. At the same time, the development of noninvasive fibrogenic markers, and techniques (e.g. fibroscan), as well as combined scoring systems incorporating serum and clinical features will allow improved assessment of therapy response. In aggregate, the advances in the elucidation of the biology of fibrosis, combined with improved technologies for assessment will provide a comprehensive framework for design of antifibrotics and their analysis in well-designed clinical trials. These efforts may ultimately yield success in halting the progression of, or reversing, liver fibrosis.
Available from: sciencedirect.com
- "Regression of cirrhosis occurs after antiviral therapy in some HCV-or HBV-infected patients who achieve an SVR or long-lasting viral suppression [78,90–92]. Regression is associated with decreased disease-related morbidity and improved survival . If a cirrhotic dialysis patient achieves an SVR, a follow-up liver biopsy should be performed. "
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ABSTRACT: Transplantation is the best treatment for end-stage organ failure. Hepatitis virus infections, mainly hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections still constitute a major problem because they are common in allograft recipients and are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality after transplantation. Recently, hepatitis E virus infection has been added as an emergent cause of chronic hepatitis in organ transplantation. The prevalence of HBV and HCV infections has markedly decreased in patients who are candidates for transplantation since the introduction of screening, hygiene and prevention measures, including systematic screening of blood and organ donations, use of erythropoietin, compliance with universal hygiene rules, segregation of HBV-infected patients from non-infected patients and systematic vaccination against HBV. A liver biopsy is preferable to non-invasive biochemical and/or morphological tests of fibrosis to evaluate liver fibrosis before and even after transplantation. Treatment with entecavir or tenofovir is indicated in HBV-infected dialyzed patients who have moderate or severe disease (≥A2 or F2 on the Metavir scale) in preparation for renal transplantation. Due to the risks of severe reactivation, fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis or histological deterioration after transplantation, systematic use of nucleoside or nucleotide analogues shortly before or at the time of transplantation is recommended (tenofovir or entecavir are preferable to lamivudine) in all patients, whatever the baseline histological evaluation. In HCV-infected dialyzed patients who are not candidates for renal transplantation, the indication for antiviral therapy is limited to significant fibrosis (fibrosis ≥2 on the Metavir scale). Treatment must be proposed to all candidates for renal transplantation, whatever their baseline histopathology, and interferon-α should be used as monotherapy. After transplantation, interferon-α is contraindicated but may be used in patients for whom the benefits of antiviral treatment clearly outweigh the risks, especially that of allograft rejection. All cirrhotic patients, notably after solid organ transplantation, should be screened for hepatocellular carcinoma. Sustained suppression of necro-inflammation may result in regression of cirrhosis, which in turn may lead to decreased disease-related morbidity and improved survival. Finally, due to the high mortality after renal transplantation, active (namely without sustained viral suppression) cirrhosis should be considered a contraindication to kidney transplantation, but an indication to combined liver-kidney transplantation; on the contrary, inactive (namely with sustained viral suppression) compensated cirrhosis may permit renal transplantation alone. Organ transplantations other than kidney (cardiac or pulmonary transplantations) involve the same diagnosis and therapeutic issues.
Available from: Elena Vezali
- "This was suggested by Mallet and colleagues in the retrospective study of 96 HCV cirrhotic patients who underwent a liver biopsy 17 months after the end of antiviral treatment. Cirrhosis regression was observed in 18 (19%) patients (all but one achieved SVR) and associated with significant reduction of clinical events, such as liver decompensation, HCC development and transplantation, in contrast with four SVR patients who did not show cirrhosis regression, while they developed liver complications . "
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ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis C and B are well-recognized and potentially preventable risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Clinical and epidemiological studies suggest that therapy with interferon-α may reduce the overall risk of HCC development in patients with chronic hepatitis C, who achieve sustained virological response, but even in those who fail to eradicate the infection. In chronic hepatitis B, interferon therapy reduces the risk of HCC development in HBeAg-positive and cirrhotic patients who achieve persistent suppression of viral replication, while in HBeAg-negative patients the beneficial effect of interferon-α is not definitively confirmed. The preventive role of interferon-α after potentially curative treatment for HCC in both chronic hepatitis B and C is uncertain due to methodological flaws of the existing studies and prospective randomized controlled trials with pegylated interferon-α are needed to clarify this issue.
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