Patients with hepatitis C virus-associated cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (HCV-CV) have high rates of clinical remission after treatment with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), but circulating cryoglobulins persist, and vascular disorders reappear in some patients shortly after DAA treatment ends. We performed a prospective study to assess the long-term clinical and immune system effects of HCV eradication with DAAs in 46 patients with HCV-CV and 42 asymptomatic patients with circulating cryoglobulins. A median of 24 months after DAA treatment (range, 17-41 months), 66% of patients with HCV-CV and 70% of asymptomatic patients with circulating cryoglobulins had an immunologic response, with comparable reductions in cryocrit from 2.6% to 0% (P < .05). However, 20% of patients still had positive test results for cryoglobulins after DAA therapy. Among patients with HCV-CV, 42 (91%) had a clinical response, in that their Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (version 3) decreased from 7 to 0 (P < .01). Nevertheless, within 2 years after a sustained viral response to DAA therapy, 5 patients with HCV-CV (11%, 4 with cirrhosis) had relapses of vasculitis that included severe organ damage and death.
Keywords: BVAS v3; Complication; Immunoglobulin; SVR.
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