Friday, January 5, 2018

Treatment of hepatitis C in special populations

First Online: 03 January 2018

Treatment of hepatitis C in special populations
Goki Suda, Koji Ogawa, Kenichi Morikawa, Naoya Sakamoto

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the primary causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In hemodialysis patients, the rate of HCV infection is high and is moreover associated with a poor prognosis. In liver transplantation patients with HCV infection, recurrent HCV infection is universal, and re-infected HCV causes rapid progression of liver fibrosis and graft loss.

Additionally, in patients with HCV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection, liver fibrosis progresses rapidly. Thus, there is an acute need for prompt treatment of HCV infection in these special populations (i.e., hemodialysis, liver transplantation, HIV co-infection). However, until recently, the standard anti-HCV treatment involved the use of interferon-based therapy.

In these special populations, interferon-based therapies could not achieve a high rate of sustained viral response and moreover were associated with a higher rate of adverse events. With the development of novel direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), the landscape of anti-HCV therapy for special populations has changed dramatically. Indeed, in special populations treated with interferon-free DAAs, the sustained viral response rate was above 90%, with a lower incidence and severity of adverse events.

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