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Risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and fibrosis evolution in hepatitis C patients with severe fibrosis or cirrhosis treated with direct acting antiviral agents

Journal Volume 84 - 2021
Issue Fasc.1 - Original articles
Author(s) C. Hamoir 1, Y. Horsmans 1, P. Stärkel 1, G. Dahlqvist 1, S. Negrin Dastis 1, N. Lanthier 1
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PAGES 25-32
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Affiliations:
(1) Service d’Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Background and study aims: Cirrhosis associated to chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The goal of our study was to evaluate first the risk and determinants of HCC and second the evolution of fibrosis in patients treated for HCV with advanced fibrosis stages who achieved sustained virological response (SVR) after direct-acting antivirals (DAA) treatment.

Patients and methods: We conducted a prospective study on HCV patients with F3 or F4 Metavir fibrosis scores treated with DAA between October 2014 and February 2017. The annual incidence rate for HCC was calculated. We used Cox regression model in order to identify factors associated with HCC. Transient elastography (TE) was performed 12 and 24 months after the end of DAA treatment and non-invasive liver fibrosis biomarkers were performed twice a year during follow-up.

Results: 143 patients with severe fibrosis or cirrhosis were enrolled in the study. 6 patients developed HCC. The annual incidence rate of HCC in our cohort was 2.7 per 100 patients. Risk factors associated with HCC after DAA were genotype 2 and steatosis. Overall TE values significantly decreased after DAA treatment with a median value prior to treatment of 16.9 kPa to a median of 10.8 kPa 24 months after the end of the treatment. Biological fibrosis scores also significantly decreased following viral eradication.

Conclusions: DAA treatment does not seem to be associated with HCC promotion after HCV eradication in patients with severe fibrosis stages. DAA-induced SVR is associated with a reduced estimation of fibrosis.

Keywords: cirrhosis, direct-acting antiviral agents, fibrosis, hepatitis C, hepatocellular carcinoma, transient elastography.

© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 33639690