Aim: To establish if serial Hepascore tests (referred to as delta Hepascore) in those with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) correlate with the increase and/or decrease in risk of liver related complications.
Methods: Three hundred and forty-six CHC patients who had two Hepascore tests performed were studied. During 1944 patient years follow-up 28 (8.1%) reached an endpoint. The Hepascore is a serum test that provides clinically useful data regarding the stage of liver fibrosis and subsequent clinical outcomes in chronic liver disease.
Results: Patients with a baseline Hepascore > 0.75 had a significantly increased rate of reaching a composite endpoint consisting of hepatocellular carcinoma, liver death, and/or decompensation (P < 0.001). In those with an initial Hepascore > 0.75, a subsequent improved Hepascore showed a significantly decreased risk for the composite endpoint (P = 0.004). There were no negative outcomes in those with a stable or improved delta Hepascore. The minimum time between tests that was found to give a statically significant result was in those greater than one year (P = 0.03).
Conclusion: In conclusion, Hepascore is an accurate predictor of liver related mortality and liver related morbidity in CHC patients. Of note, we have found that there is a decreased risk of mortality and morbidity in CHC patients when the patient has an improving delta Hepascore. Repeat Hepascore tests, when performed at a minimum one-year interval, may be of value in routine clinical practice to predict liver related clinical outcomes and to guide patient management.
Keywords: Chronic; Direct acting antivirals; Hepatitis C; Prognosis; Serum.