Follow-up of patients with chronic hepatitis C and a sustained viral response

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Patients with chronic hepatitis C who achieve a sustained virological response (SVR) after antiviral treatment have improved survival and liver-related morbidity compared to non-SVR patients. However, long-term follow-up studies in SVR patients have shown that the regression of fibrosis varies and the risk of liver-related complications remains, even in the absence of cirrhosis. While patients with cirrhosis are still at risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, comorbidities such as diabetes, obesity or alcohol consumption may play a major role in the outcome of liver disease in SVR patients without cirrhosis. The risk of re-infection is high in patients with a persistent risk of contamination such as IV drug users or men who have sex with men. Thus, in the era of highly efficient DAAs regimens, monitoring after a cure of HCV infection remains a major challenge in SVR patients. This review describes long-term HCV infection and liver-related outcomes in SVR patients, as well as the profile of patients who are still at risk of progression, and monitoring techniques including non-invasive markers for the assessment of fibrosis.

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