Background & Aims: No published study to date has provided a careful analysis of the effects of a sustained viral response (SVR) on the outcomes of patients with compensated hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis in relation to the degree of portal hypertension. Therefore, we estimated the impact of achieving SVR on disease progression, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development and mortality in a large cohort of HCV patients with cirrhosis with or without oesophageal varices (OVs) at the start of antiviral therapy. Methods: A total of 535 Caucasian patients were prospectively recruited to this study. All patients had a clinical or histological diagnosis of compensated HCV-related cirrhosis and underwent interferon-based therapy. Competing risks and a multistate model were analysed according to the presence or absence of OVs at baseline. Results: Compared to patients without SVR, a greater proportion of patients who achieved SVR showed no liver disease progression after 10 years (36.3% vs. 61.3% of patients without baseline OVs; 29.6% vs. 64.3% of patients with baseline OVs). Achievement of SVR was significantly associated with reduced occurrence rates of de-novo OVs, hepatic decompensation and HCC. Compared to patients without SVR, patients with SVR had lower likelihoods of liver-related death at 10 years (20.6% vs. 10.3% of patients without baseline OVs; 50.5% vs. 21.8% of patients with baseline OVs). Conclusions: In patients with compensated HCV-related cirrhosis with or without OVs at baseline, SVR is associated with reduced disease progression and liver-related mortality.
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