To assess the clinical, biochemical and virological long-term outcome in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with a sustained virological response (SVR) after peginterferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin combination therapy.
One hundred and fifty three patients with a SVR after treatment with PEG-IFN plus ribavirin were included in a 5-year follow-up study in a single Spanish center, based on standard clinical practice. Clinical anamnesis, biochemical analysis, hepatitis C virus RNA and alpha-fetoprotein measurement, ultrasonography and transient elastography were performed annually.
The mean follow-up period of the 153 patients was 76 ± 13 mo after they obtained a SVR. Five patients (3.26%) presented with cirrhosis before treatment and 116 (75.8%) had genotype 1. No patient showed evidence of hepatic decompensation. One patient (0.65%) developed a hepatocellular carcinoma at month 30 after achieving SVR. There were no virological relapses during this follow-up period. Persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase was found in only one patient (0.65%). At the end of the 5-year follow-up, the mean value of transient elastography was 7 ± 4.3 kPa (F1). There were no deaths and no other tumors.
The long-term outcome of 153 CHC patients with SVR to PEG-IFN plus ribavirin was good. No evidence of a virological relapse was seen. One patient (0.65%) developed a hepatocellular carcinoma.