Interferon-free regimens improve health-related quality of life and fatigue in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with advanced liver disease: A retrospective study

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Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is impaired in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients (HIV/HCV) and further decreased by interferon (IFN)-based therapies. We aimed to investigate the impact of IFN- and ribavirin (RBV)-free therapies on HRQoL and fatigue.Thirty-three HIV/HCV-coinfected patients who underwent HCV therapy with sofosbuvir in combination with daclatasvir or ledipasvir were retrospectively studied and compared to 17 patients who received boceprevir (BOC)/PEGIFN/RBV. HRQoL (mental [MCS] and physical [PCS] component score) and fatigue were assessed using the SF-36 (Short Form 36 Health Survey) and the FSS (Fatigue Severity Scale), respectively. HRQoL/fatigue was evaluated at baseline (BL), midway, and 12 weeks after the end of treatment (FU).At BL, both domains of HRQoL as well as the severity of fatigue were significantly impaired in HIV/HCV, when compared to a healthy population. Already during treatment, IFN/RBV-free therapy improved physical health (PCS: 41.4 ± 9.7 vs. 47.0 ± 11.2; P < 0.01) and reduced fatigue (37.8 ± 14.0 vs. 31.9 ± 15.2; P= 0.01), whereas we observed a substantial worsening of both factors in patients treated with BOC/PEGIFN/RBV. Since these improvements were maintained, patients treated with IFN/RBV-free therapy reported an improvement in physical health (PCS: 41.4 ± 9.7 vs. 45.8 ± 12.7; P< 0.01) and fatigue (37.8 ± 14.0 vs. 30.9 ± 14.8; P= 0.04) at FU. While AIDS-patients had a higher severity of fatigue at BL and showed a reduction of fatigue (42.5 ± 14.0 vs. 31.6 ± 15.7; P= 0.01), mental health only improved in patients without AIDS (MCS: 35.7 ± 5.3 vs.40.7 ± 6.4; P= 0.04). HIV/HCV with severe fatigue at BL (>median BL-FSS) showed most pronounced improvements in severity of fatigue (49.7 ± 7.0 vs. 32.0 ± 16.7; P< 0.01).In contrast to IFN-based regimens, highly effective and well-tolerated IFN-/RBV-free regimens improve HRQoL (especially physical health) and fatigue already during treatment. All patients with HIV/HCV coinfection should be considered for HCV treatment; however, patients with severe fatigue should be prioritized.

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