Int J Med Sci 2006; 3(2):75-78. doi:10.7150/ijms.3.75 This issue
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Thomas Jefferson University, 132 S. 10th Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.
Despite the improved efficacy of peginterferons, the rate of sustained virologic response is suboptimal in cirrhotic patients, relative to non-cirrhotic patients. However, the treatment of patients with compensated cirrhosis has recently been encouraged by expert panels. Interferon-based therapy may provide additional benefit by reducing the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients as suggested in preliminary studies. Results of two ongoing prospective studies are awaited to answer the important question of the effectiveness of suppressive interferon therapy, even in the absence of sustained virologic response. Given the importance of recurrent HCV following liver transplantation, attention has been directed toward the antiviral treatment of patients with advanced liver disease. This approach needs to be pursued with caution given the potential morbidity of the therapy. Recently, a low accelerating dosage regimen has provided excellent results and is the subject of additional inquiry.
Keywords: hepatitis C virus, cirrhosis, liver transplantation, antiviral therapy