Predictors of early and sustained virological response of viral hepatitis C

Vol. 61 No. 4, 2020


Alice Elena Ghenea, Anca Marilena Ungureanu, Adriana Turculeanu, Mihaela Popescu, Mara Carsote, Maria Loredana Tieranu, Eugen Nicolae Tieranu, Corina Maria Vasile, Ramona Cioboata, Anca Loredana Udristoiu, Dragos Ovidiu Alexandru, Alex Ioan Salan, Andrei Ioan Drocas

Due to complex interplay between host and viral factors, pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is considered a challenging issue. Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is not confined only to liver but can induce disturbances in many other organs and systems. Our primary aim for this study was to evaluate biological response rates and sustained virological response (SVR) in patients diagnosed with CHC, treated with Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha), Pegylated (PEG)-IFN-alpha2a or -alpha2b plus Ribavirin. The second aim of the study was the identification of predictive factors for a favorable response to antiviral therapy in patients diagnosed with CHC. We enrolled in this study 210 patients diagnosed with CHC who have accomplished all inclusion and exclusion criteria, treated with PEG-IFN plus Ribavirin. Patients recovery progress has been evaluated by determining: age, gender; biochemical tests: alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST); serological assays - detect anti-HCV antibody and molecular assays - detect, quantify and/or characterize hepatitis C viral load (ribonucleic acid) (HCV-RNA); liver histopathological (HP) examination. According to their response to treatment, they were classified into responders (n=145) and non-responders (n=65). Liver biopsies were histopathologically evaluated for necroinflammatory grade and fibrosis stage according to the modified Ishak and Metavir scoring systems for chronic hepatitis. Demographic, laboratory, and HP results were introduced in statistical analysis. These parameters were included in area under curve (AUC) analysis in order to estimate their degree of influence on getting early virological response (EVR) and SVR. Our study demonstrates that factors connected to treatment failure in CHC are linked to older age, high hepatitis C viral load, and impaired glucose tolerance at beginning of treatment [high fasting glucose and insulin, high homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index] and also to liver histology features (high fibrosis score, liver steatosis, iron infiltration, and more or less high necroinflammatory activity). Analyzing results of our study shows that HOMA-IR index, serum insulin levels, baseline HCV-RNA, baseline mean blood glucose and HP score like Ishak fibrosis score, steatosis score and liver iron score may have a predictive value for obtaining an EVR in patients diagnosed with CHC.

Corresponding author: Anca Marilena Ungureanu, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:; Eugen Nicolae Tieranu, Teaching Assistant, MD, PhD; e-mail:

DOI: 10.47162/RJME.61.4.20 Download PDF
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