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Rev Gastroenterol Mex. 2003 Jul-Sep;68(3):239-44.

[Interferon-alpha and liver fibrosis in patients with chronic damage due to hepatitis C virus].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Depto. de Gastroenterología, Centro Médico ISSEMYM Av. Baja Velocidad 284, Col. San Jerónimo Chicahualco, Metepec, Estado de México.


The present review focuses on the published information published regarding the effects of interferon alpha therapy on liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver damage secondary to hepatitis C infection. Data reviewed included results of the in vitro effects of interferon on hepatic cell line cultures with regards to indirect markers of fibrosis, activation of hepatic stellate cells and oxidative stress response. In the clinical arena, there is current clear evidence of a favorable histological outcome in patients with sustained viral response to interferon therapy. For this reason, the current review focuses more on the histological outcomes regarding liver fibrosis in patients who have not attained viral response to therapy (non-responders) or who already have biopsy defined cirrhosis. Data in these patients were analyzed according to the results of objective testing of fibrosis through the assessment of liver biopsy and its change during time, specially because the morbidity and mortality of this disease is directly related to the complications of liver cirrhosis and not necessarily to the persistence of the hepatitis C virus. Lastly, it is concluded that the process of liver fibrosis/cirrhosis is a dynamic one and that there is some evidence to support the usefulness of interferon alpha therapy as a means to halt or retard the progression of hepatic fibrosis. The result of current clinical trials in which interferon therapy is being used to modify the progression of fibrosis in non-responders or cirrhotic patients is eagerly awaited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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