Background/Aims. To assess the relationship between changes in liver histology and virological parameters of HCV infection in patients who showed sustained biochemical response after alpha-Interferon treatment for chronic hepatitis with the aim to establish whether they are reliable indicators of treatment efficacy. Methods. Prospective quantitative serial testing of HCV RNA in in plasma samples collected on a monthly basis over the last period of post-treatment follow-up were tested in sixteen subjects with ≤ 12 mos. aminotransferase normalisation following discontinuation of interferon therapy. Quantitative HCV RNA determination in plasma was performed by competitive reverse-transcription polymerase-chain reaction. Pre-treatment and 12-month post-treatment liver histology blindly evaluated by a semiquantitative scoring system. Results. The post-treatment histological grading score was significantly reduced. Nevertheless, all patients except one resulted positive for HCV RNA detection on plasma (mean 1.5 x 106 molecules/ml): eight were positive in all serial determinations, while the remaining ones were intermittently positive. No relationship between genotype, RNA level and pre or post-treatment histological score was found. Conclusions. The improvement in liver histology is the most accurate current indicator of long-term response to interferon treatment on hepatitis C liver disease. HCV RNA clearance, when serial sampling is carried out, appears unlikely or null despite sustained biochemical response and histological improvement.
|Translated title of the contribution||Histological changes but not virus eradication reflect biochemical improvement in patients long-term responders to Interferon-α therapy for chronic hepatitis C|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine