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Clinical Trial
, 9 (6), 987-92

Long-term Follow-Up of HIV-infected Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Treated With Interferon-Based Therapies

  • PMID: 15651757
Clinical Trial

Long-term Follow-Up of HIV-infected Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Treated With Interferon-Based Therapies

Vincent Soriano et al. Antivir Ther.


Background: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is frequent among HIV-infected patients. Clearance of serum HCV RNA 6 months after discontinuing HCV therapy is generally interpreted as a cure of HCV infection in HIV-negative subjects. However, the occurrence of liver complications (including hepatocellular carcinoma) and/or HCV relapses in coinfected patients when followed for long periods of time after HCV therapy is not well known.

Methods: All HIV-infected patients who had been treated for chronic hepatitis C at our institution and had a minimum follow-up of 6 months after discontinuing therapy were retrospectively analysed. They had received one of three HCV treatment modalities: IFN monotherapy, IFN plus ribavirin (RBV) or pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus RBV.

Results: A total of 351 patients were retrospectively analysed. Sustained virological response (SVR) to HCV therapy had been reached by 77 (22%) of them: 22/119 (18.5%) with IFN monotherapy, 17/106 (16%) with IFN plus RBV and 38/126 (30.2%) with PEG-IFN plus RBV. Considering the HCV genotypes, SVR had been reached by 19/184 (10.3%) of patients with genotype 1, 54/138 (39.1%) with genotypes 2 or 3, and 4/29 (13.8%) of those with genotype 4. Within a total of 4466 patient-months follow-up (mean of 58 months), none of the 77 patients with SVR showed HCV-RNA rebounds, elevations in liver enzymes potentially linked to HCV, development of hepatocellular carcinoma or episodes of decompensated cirrhosis. In contrast, all 274 patients who did not reach SVR with HCV therapy showed evidence of persistent serum HCV RNA and 90% of them showed liver enzyme elevations during a total of 15344 patient-months follow-up (mean of 56 months). Moreover, 11 (4%) developed clinical complications of liver cirrhosis and two of them died of end-stage liver disease.

Conclusions: HCV replication and HCV-related liver disease seem to be permanently halted in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients showing HCV-RNA clearance 6 months after completing any kind of IFN-based therapy. In contrast, complications of liver disease due to persistent HCV infection continue to occur in non-responders. The role of maintenance HCV therapy should be explored in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients.

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