Sustained Response to Antiviral Therapy Prevents Esophageal Varices in Hepatitis C Patients with Cirrhosis
“Over years or decades, people with chronic hepatitis C can develop advanced liver disease including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Cirrhosis is characterized by blockage of the flow of blood through the heavily scarred liver, leading to symptoms such as bleeding varicose veins in the stomach and esophagus, abdominal fluid accumulation, and cognitive impairment due to hepatic encephalopathy.
A new study adds to the evidence showing that sustained response to interferon-based antiviral therapy can improve liver health and prevent development or worsening of cirrhosis and its associated conditions, in this case esophageal varices. None of the 34 participants (out of an initial group of more than 200) who were treated for hepatitis C and achieved SVR developed new varices, compared with 32% of untreated patients and 39% of those who underwent treatment but did not achieve sustained response...”
I posted this partly in response to Magnum’s recent thread on the same subject; it’s very much on task to that subject matter.
If you haven’t explored hivandhepatitis.com yet, it’s an informative site. It’s divided into sections on HIV, HBV and HCV; if you open the HCV section, they have a sign up link that will send twice-weekly newsletter emails to your inbox (upper right corner of the page):
This article reaffirms that IF a person with cirrhosis achieves SVR it will prevent the future advancement of liver disease and its symptoms, such as varices. The problem for myself, Magnum and others is that we have been unable to achieve SVR using the current treatments. In my case I have only experienced ascites, edema and HE after failing interferon/ribavirin treatment. After decades of no symptoms my liver disease is progressing quickly where there is a noticeable difference of symptoms and blood levels even over a one year time period. This makes waiting one year for the new STAT-C treatments a question of - Will we be healthy enough to try the new treatments before becoming too ill (decompensated) to undergo the treatments? After that point a liver transplant will be our only option for staying alive. So we are caught between a rock and a hard place with time running out.
Thanks Bill for the "heads-up" about the website. It looks like a good site.
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