Treatment of early stage chronic hepatitis C virus infection

Francesca Romana Ponziani, Luca Miele, Annalisa Tortora, Manuele Furnari, Giorgia Bodini, Maurizio Pompili, Antonio Gasbarrini, Edoardo Giovanni Giannini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) with direct acting antivirals (DAAs) is able to achieve the cure of infection in almost the totality of patients, independently of the characteristics of the individual and the virus, using short treatment schedules, and without the need of ribavirin. The high cost of DAAs is the main limiting factor for universal treatment of HCV. However, there is a strong evidence that treatment of infection at the early stage of disease may be the most rewarding approach. Areas covered: This review evaluates the aspects underlying the benefit of treating chronic HCV infection at the early stage of disease. It outlines the considerations that have to be taken into account when planning treatment in patients with HCV and minimal liver disease, assessing the positive reflex of viral eradication on several HCV-associated extra-hepatic conditions such as the risk of lymphoma, insulin-resistance and glycaemic control, and renal function. Lastly, it also covers the improvement of patients’ quality of life and the pharmaco-economic aspects associated with early treatment. Expert commentary: Treatment of patients with HCV and minimal liver disease is associated with a beneficial, pleiotropic effect of viral eradication that goes beyond the simplistic consideration of the improvement in liver disease-related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 4 2018


  • antiviral treatment
  • extra-hepatic manifestations
  • HCV
  • Low fibrosis
  • outcome
  • pharmaco-economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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