Hepatitis C virus and chronic kidney disease are major public health issues all over the world and controversy persists regarding the role of hepatitis C as a risk factor for the development of chronic kidney disease in the adult general population. Numerous studies found a relationship between positive anti-HCV antibody serologic prevalence and increased frequency of incidence, prevalence and accelerated progression of CKD over time. However, this has not been universally accepted. One method to analyze the relationship between anti-HCV status and CKD is to evaluate the impact of anti-HCV antiviral therapy on the risk of CKD in the general population. The availability of safe and effective drugs (direct-acting antiviral agents) for HCV eradication support this approach. Novel data support the notion that sustained viral response with anti-HCV regimens leads to improvement of hepatic and extra-hepatic outcomes. A systematic review with metaanalysis of clinical observational studies was recently performed on this point. Fifteen studies were retrieved (n=356, 285 patients); a relationship between sustained viral response and lower rate of kidney disease was noted- the summary estimate for adjusted risk of kidney disease was 2.5 (95% CI, 1.41; 4.41) (P=0.0016). An association between anti-HCV therapy and reduced risk of kidney disease after comparison of treated vs. untreated cohorts was observed, the summary estimate for adjusted HR was 0.44 (95% CI, 0.25; 0.63) (P=0.0001). Several biologic mechanisms have been cited to explain the detrimental role of HCV on kidney disease in the general population, and a direct and indirect activity of HCV on atherogenesis at kidney level has been mentioned. Clinical and experimental studies are under way.
About The Expert
Carlo M Alfieri