AbstractBackground & Aims:
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 4 (G4) infection is common in the Middle East. Post-treatment long-term outcomes have not been reported in these patients. This study evaluates these outcomes in patients after interferon-based therapy.Patients and methods:
A total of 157 patients were followed from June 2001 to February 2012. Descriptive and analytical statistics, cumulative outcomes and the independent predictors of disease progression were calculated.Results:
The overall age was 48.0 ± 11.8 years, 75 (47.8%) were males and 53 (70.7%) of 75 who were genotyped had G4. The follow-up period was 63.8 ± 32.8 months. Sustained virological response (SVR) was achieved in 62 (39.5%) and 24 (45.3%) patients in the whole group and the G4 subgroup respectively. Among the whole cohort and the G4 subgroup, disease progressed in 59 (37.6%) and 21 (39.6%), respectively, with less progression in the SVR groups; 15/62 (24.2%) and 3/24 (12.5%) compared with non-responders; 44 (46.3%) and 18 (62.1%) with P = 0.01 and 0.001 respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that having diabetes mellitus (P = 0.03), higher baseline APRI score (P = 0.00) and non-SVR (P = 0.00) were independent predictors of disease progression. G4 patients showed similar results, but ‘non-SVR’ (P = 0.00) was the only independent predictor of progression. Eight patients died and four developed HCC all among the non-SVR group only.Conclusions:
This study describes, for the first time, the natural history and demonstrates the beneficial long-term effects of interferon-based therapy in HCV G4 patients.