Delayed HCV therapy may increase liver-related deaths

Published: February 27, 2015

Original Article:

SEATTLE — Deferring treatment for hepatitis C virus infection 1 year or more after diagnosis or until evidence of advanced liver disease may increase liver-related mortality, according to data presented at CROI 2015.

“There has been debate on whether it is safe to defer HCV therapy until advanced liver disease, especially in people who live with HIV who often have other risk factors for liver disease progression,” Cindy Zahnd, researcher at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern in Switzerland, said during her presentation. “This is exactly what we wanted to assess, by modeling the impact of deferring HCV therapy until advanced liver disease, stages F3 or F4, vs. treating them sooner.”

Zahnd and colleagues developed an individual-based model of liver disease progression using observed data from a cohort of men who have sex with men from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study coinfected with HIV/HCV and with published data. The researchers followed patients from diagnosis of HCV infection through levels of care. Liver-related events and duration of detectable viral load were compared at treatment of all patients 1 month after diagnosis, 1 year after diagnosis or as they reached fibrosis stage F2, F3 or F4. 

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