Author(s): Fattovich G, Giustina G, Degos F, Tremolada F, Diodati G,
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Abstract BACKGROUND & AIMS: Few data are available concerning the long-term prognosis of chronic liver disease associated with hepatitis C virus infection. This study examined the morbidity and survival of patients with compensated cirrhosis type C. METHODS: A cohort of 384 European cirrhotic patients was enrolled at seven tertiary referral hospitals and followed up for a mean period of 5 years. Inclusion criteria were biopsy-proven cirrhosis, abnormal serum aminotransferase levels, absence of complications of cirrhosis, and exclusion of hepatitis A and B viruses and of metabolic, toxic, or autoimmune liver diseases. RESULTS: Antibodies against hepatitis C virus were positive in 98\% of 361 patients tested. The 5-year risk of hepatocellular carcinoma was 7\% and that of decompensation was 18\%. Death occurred in 51 patients (13\%), with 70\% dying of liver disease. Survival probability was 91\% and 79\% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Two hundred five patients (53\%) were treated with interferon alfa. After adjustment for clinical and serological differences at baseline between patients treated or not treated with interferon, the 5-year estimated survival probability was 96\% and 95\% for treated and untreated patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of patients, life expectancy is relatively long, in agreement with the morbidity data showing a slowly progressive disease.
This article was published in Gastroenterology
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals