Effect of sustained virological response on long-term clinical outcome in 113 patients with compensated hepatitis C-related cirrhosis treated by interferon alpha and ribavirin

World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Nov 14;13(42):5648-53. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i42.5648.


Aim: To assess the long-term clinical benefit of sustained virological response (SVR) in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) cirrhosis treated by antiviral therapy using mostly ribavirin plus interferon either standard or pegylated.

Methods: One hundred and thirteen patients with uncomplicated HCV biopsy-proven cirrhosis, treated by at least one course of antiviral treatment > or = 3 mo and followed > or = 30 mo were included. The occurrence of linical events [hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), decompensation and death] was compared in SVR and non SVR patients.

Results: Seventy eight patients received bitherapy and 63 had repeat treatments. SVR was achieved in 37 patients (33%). During a mean follow-up of 7.7 years, clinical events occurred more frequently in non SVR than in SVR patients, with a significant difference for HCC (24/76 vs 1/37, P = 0.01). No SVR patient died while 20/76 non-SVR did (P = 0.002), mainly in relation to HCC (45%).

Conclusion: In patients with HCV-related cirrhosis, SVR is associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of HCC and mortality during a follow-up period of 7.7 years. This result is a strong argument to perform and repeat antiviral treatments in patients with compensated cirrhosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C / virology
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ribavirin / administration & dosage*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ribavirin
  • peginterferon alfa-2a