Objectives: Viusid is a nutritional supplement with recognised antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties which could have beneficial effects on cirrhosis-related clinical outcomes such as survival, disease progression and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of viusid in patients with HCV-related decompensated cirrhosis.
Design: A randomised double-blind and placebo-controlled study was conducted in a tertiary care academic centre (National Institute of Gastroenterology, Havana, Cuba). The authors randomly assigned 100 patients with HCV-related decompensated cirrhosis to receive viusid (three oral sachets daily, n=50) or placebo (n=50) during 96 weeks. The primary outcome of the study was overall survival at 96 weeks, and the secondary outcomes included time to disease progression, time to HCC diagnosis, time to worsening of the prognostic scoring systems Child-Pugh and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease, and time to a new occurrence or relapse for each one of the main clinical complications secondary to portal hypertension at 96 weeks.
Results: Viusid led to a significant improvement in overall survival (90%) versus placebo (74%) (HR 0.27, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.92; p=0.036). A similar improvement in disease progression was seen in viusid-treated patients (28%), compared with placebo-treated patients (48%) (HR 0.47, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.89; p=0.044). However, the beneficial effects of viusid were wholly observed among patients with Child-Pugh classes B or C, but not among patients with Child-Pugh class A. The cumulative incidence of HCC was significantly reduced in patients treated with viusid (2%) as compared with placebo (12%) (HR 0.15, 95% CI 0.019 to 0.90; p=0.046). Viusid was well tolerated.
Conclusions: The results indicate that treatment with viusid leads to a notable improvement in overall clinical outcomes such as survival, disease progression and development of HCC in patients with HCV-related decompensated cirrhosis. Trial registration number http://ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00502086).