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Gastroenterology. 1999 Feb;116(2):378-86.

Modeling the impact of interferon alfa treatment on liver fibrosis progression in chronic hepatitis C: a dynamic view. The Multivirc Group.

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  • 1Servive d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Université Paris VI, France.



Impact of hepatitis C treatment has never taken into account the dynamics of fibrosis progression. This study assessed the impact of interferon on liver fibrosis progression in patients with chronic hepatitis C according to 3-month aminotransferase activity response.


We recruited 287 patients, 185 treated and 102 control, with paired biopsy specimens. Before follow-up, the fibrosis progression rate per year was estimated as the ratio between fibrosis stage in METAVIR units (1 U, 1 stage; 4 U, cirrhosis) and the duration of infection. During follow-up, fibrosis progression was assessed by the observed difference between stages divided by duration between biopsies.


The median fibrosis progression rate in treated patients decreased compared with the rate before treatment from 0.103 F METAVIR U/yr (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.087-0.120) to 0.000 (95% CI, 0.000-0.000; P </= 0.0001). Among 91 treated responders, fibrosis stage worsened in 19 (22%), compared with 21 (22%) of 94 treated nonresponders and 57 of 102 controls (56%; P </= 0.0001 compared with treated patients), and improved in 26 (29%), 17 (18%), and 8 (8%; P = 0.0002 compared with 29% and P = 0.03 compared with 18%), respectively. These observed differences persisted after genotype, viremia, sex, age at infection, duration of infection, and alcohol consumption were taken into account.


Interferon treatment changes the natural fibrosis progression rate in patients with chronic hepatitis C independently of genotype and early response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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