The progress of liver diseases may not stop after viral eradication.This study aimed to provide data on long-term prognosis of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who underwent pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (PR) regimen and achieved a sustained virological response 24 weeks post-treatment (SVR24).
Responders to the PR regimen in our hospital from January 2011 to June 2014 were enrolled and prospectively followed up. Baseline characteristics were profiled. The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), progression of liver disease (increase in liver stiffness or occurrence of decompensated complication), and HCV recurrence were all monitored. The accumulative and annualized incidence rates (AIRs) of these adverse events were analyzed, and the risk factors were also examined.
In total, 151 patients reached a median follow-up time of 103 weeks. Among them, two had an incidence of HCC during the surveillance with AIR of 0.68% (95% CI: 0.00%-1.63%). Six patients showed progression of liver disease with AIR of 2.05% (95% CI: 0.42%-3.68%). Three patients who had risky behaviors encountered HCV reinfection. The cirrhotic patients faced higher risk of poor prognosis than non-cirrhotic patients, including HCC and progression of liver disease (AIR: 6.17% vs. 1.42%, P = 0.039).
The incidence of HCC and progression of liver disease was evident in PR responders during the long-term follow-up period, but the risk level was low. Cirrhotic responders were more vulnerable to develop HCC post SVR24 compared with non-cirrhotic ones. HCV recurrence was rare in responders with SVR24 who had corrected their risky behaviors.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.