Clinical outcomes of chronic hepatitis C patients related to baseline liver fibrosis stage: a hospital-based linkage study

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Background and Aims:

Rates of long-term clinical outcomes of chronic hepatitis C in patients with none, mild or severe liver fibrosis are required to determine benefits of anti-viral therapies. This study evaluated long-term outcomes for chronic hepatitis C stratified by all Metavir fibrosis stages.


Clinical outcomes were determined using population-based data linkage methodology for 880 hepatitis C patients who had a liver biopsy performed from 1992 to 2012.


During 9386 person-years of follow up, 28 patients developed hepatocellular carcinoma, 58 developed liver decompensation and 122 died or underwent liver transplantation. There was no significant difference in liver-related death for those with F0–F2 with an 18-year survival probability >94%. Hazard ratio of liver-related death for F3 compared with F0–F2 was 4.24 (P = 0.003), with no significant difference in the first 13-year follow up. The 15-year decompensation-free survival for F0, F1 and F2 was 100%, 96% and 94% respectively and for hepatocellular carcinoma-free survival was 100%, 99% and 98%. Hazard ratio of liver complication (hepatocellular carcinoma or decompensation)-free survival for F3 compared with F0–F2 was 3.22 (P = 0.001), with no significant difference during the first 7-year follow up. F4 had significantly higher risk of liver-related death, decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma than F3 (P < 0.001).


Chronic hepatitis C patients with F2 or less had few liver complications after 15 years. For F3 patients, the significant increase in liver-related death occurred after 13 years and for liver complications after 7 years.

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