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Liver Stiffness Decreases Rapidly in Response to Successful Hepatitis C Treatment and Then Plateaus.

Liver Stiffness Decreases Rapidly in Response to Successful Hepatitis C Treatment and Then Plateaus.
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Chekuri S, Nickerson J, Bichoupan K, Sefcik R, Doobay K, Chang S, DelBello D, Harty A, Dieterich DT, Perumalswami PV, Branch AD,


Chekuri S, Nickerson J, Bichoupan K, Sefcik R, Doobay K, Chang S, DelBello D, Harty A, Dieterich DT, Perumalswami PV, Branch AD, (click to view)

Chekuri S, Nickerson J, Bichoupan K, Sefcik R, Doobay K, Chang S, DelBello D, Harty A, Dieterich DT, Perumalswami PV, Branch AD,

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PloS one 2016 07 2111(7) e0159413 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0159413

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND AIM
To investigate the impact of a sustained virological response (SVR) to hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment on liver stiffness (LS).

METHODS
LS, measured by transient elastography (FibroScan), demographic and laboratory data of patients treated with interferon (IFN)-containing or IFN-free regimens who had an SVR24 (undetectable HCV viral load 24 weeks after the end of treatment) were analyzed using two-tailed paired t-tests, Mann-Whitney Wilcoxon Signed-rank tests and linear regression. Two time intervals were investigated: pre-treatment to SVR24 and SVR24 to the end of follow-up. LS scores ≥ 12.5 kPa indicated LS-defined cirrhosis. A p-value below 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS
The median age of the patients (n = 100) was 60 years [IQR (interquartile range) 54-64); 72% were male; 60% were Caucasian; and 42% had cirrhosis pre-treatment according to the FibroScan measurement. The median LS score dropped from 10.40 kPa (IQR: 7.25-18.60) pre-treatment to 7.60 kPa (IQR: 5.60-12.38) at SVR24, p <0.01. Among the 42 patients with LS-defined cirrhosis pre-treatment, 25 (60%) of patients still had LS scores ≥ 12.5 kPa at SVR24, indicating the persistence of cirrhosis. The median change in LS was similar in patients receiving IFN-containing and IFN-free regimens: -1.95 kPa (IQR: -5.75 --0.38) versus -2.40 kPa (IQR: -7.70 --0.23), p = 0.74. Among 56 patients with a post-SVR24 LS measurement, the LS score changed by an additional -0.90 kPa (IQR: -2.98-0.5) during a median follow-up time of 1.17 (IQR: 0.88-1.63) years, which was not a statistically significant decrease (p = 0.99). CONCLUSIONS
LS decreased from pre-treatment to SVR24, but did not decrease significantly during additional follow-up. Earlier treatment may be needed to reduce the burden of liver disease.

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