Saturday, April 28, 2018

April "infohep bulletin" - Overview of EASL's 2018 International Liver Congress

Patients looking for an overview of EASL's 2018 International Liver Congress can find it in this month's "infohep bulletin"

Effectiveness of hepatitis C treatment
Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for hepatitis C is highly effective in curing hepatitis C infection but the long-term objective of treatment is to prevent liver disease and death. The long-term effects of curing hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with DAAs was called into question by a Cochrane Collaboration systematic review in 2017. The review concluded that there was not yet sufficient evidence to show that curing HCV infection reduced illness and death. This conclusion was strongly questioned by liver experts.

At The International Liver Congress in Paris, a large prospective study carried out in Italy provided clear evidence that curing hepatitis C infection results in a reduction in the risk of dying from a liver-related cause. People with Child-Pugh A cirrhosis (compensated cirrhosis) were 15 times more likely to die of a liver-related cause if they did not achieve a sustained virologic response to DAA treatment, the study found. They were also at higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

A study which followed everyone treated for hepatitis C in Scotland found that liver decompensation due to cirrhosis in people previously diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C declined by 29% between 2013 and 2016. During the same period 94% of people treated for hepatitis C in Scotland achieved a sustained virologic response.

Similarly, a Europe-wide study of liver transplants found that while the number of transplants carried out in Europe remained stable between 2007 and 2017, the proportion that were carried out as a consequence of hepatitis C fell from 23% to 11%. The decline in HCV-related transplants became evident after 2014 and was especially evident in people with HCV-related decompensated cirrhosis. The survival of liver transplant recipients with HCV also improved.

April Bulletin
This edition of the infohep bulletin covers news from the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), The International Liver Congress. The meeting took place in Paris from 11 to 15 April 2018. 

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