Liver Fibrosis Starts Early After Hepatitis C Infection Interview with:
Adeel A. Butt, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA
Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Butt: Studying clinical consequences of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is often limited by the lack of knowledge of actual time of infection. We used the Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV-Infected Veterans (ERCHIVES), a well-established national cohort of HCV infected veterans and corresponding HCV-uninfected controls, to identify patients with a known time frame for HCV infection. Our primary aim was to determine the rate of liver fibrosis progression among HCV-infected persons over time, with and to determine factors associated with development of cirrhosis and hepatic decompensation among these persons.

Among 1840 persons who were HCV+ and 1840 HCV− controls, we found that fibrosis progression started early after HCV infection tapered off after 5 years. After 10 years of follow-up, 18.4% of HCV+ and 6.1% of HCV- persons developed liver cirrhosis. Nine years after diagnosis of cirrhosis, only 1.8% of HCV+ and 0.3% of HCV- persons had developed hepatic decompensation.

MedicalResearch: What clinicians and should patients take away from your report?

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