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Effectiveness of interferon alpha on incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and decompensation cirrhosis type C

Fattovich, Giovanna and Giustina, Giuliano and Degos, Françoise and Diodati, Giulio and Tremolada, Federico and Nevens, Frederik and Almasio, Piero Luigi and Solinas, Antonio and Brouwer, Johannes T. and Thomas, Howard and Realdi, Giuseppe and Corrocher, Roberto and Schalm, Solko W. (1997) Effectiveness of interferon alpha on incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and decompensation cirrhosis type C. Journal of Hepatology, Vol. 27 (1), p. 201-205. eISSN 1600-0641. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/S0168-8278(97)80302-9


Background/Aims: The role of interferon alfa treatment in improving morbidity endpoints in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection is currently under debate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of interferon in preventing hepatocellular carcinoma and decompensation in cirrhosis type C.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was carried out on 329 consecutive Caucasians patients with cirrhosis followed for a mean period of 5 years at seven tertiary care university hospitals. Inclusion criteria were biopsy-proven cirrhosis, anti-HCV positivity, abnormal serum aminotransferase levels and absence of complications of cirrhosis.

Results: The yearly incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma was 2.3% for 136 untreated patients and 1.0% for 193 patients treated with interferon alfa. The yearly incidence of hepatic decompensation was 5.7 for untreated and 1.4 for the treated patients. Fourteen (7%) of 193 treated patients showed sustained aminotransferase normalization and none of them developed complications of cirrhosis. At enrollment, untreated patients were older and had more sever liver disease than patients treated with interferon. After adjustment for clinical and serologic differences at entry between treated and untreated patients, the 5-year estimated probability of the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma was 2.1% and 2.7% and of decompensation was 7% and 11% for treated and untreated cases, respectively.

Conclusions: This analysis did not detect any significant benefit of interferon alfa on morbidity in patients with compensated cirrhosis type C, although it suggests a reduction in complications of cirrhosis for those with a sustained response to therapy, and it indicates the need for better therapies.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:6867
Uncontrolled Keywords:Compensated cirrhosis type C, decompensation, hepatocellular carcimona, interferon alfa
Subjects:Area 06 - Scienze mediche > MED/12 Gastroenterologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 03 Istituti > Clinica medica generale e terapia medica
001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Scienze biomediche
001 Università di Sassari > 03 Istituti > Patologia speciale medica e metodologia clinica
Copyright Holders:© European Association for the Study of the Liver
Additional Information:Additional members of the European Concerted Action on Viral Hepatitis (EUROHEP) participating in this study were: Abha Bhalla; Carla Casarin; Paola Bonetti; Jovan Basho; Patrizia Fuschi; Andreina Tocco; Daniela Mura.
Deposited On:14 Dec 2011 10:46

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