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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 1999 Aug-Sep;23(8-9):887-91.

[Treatment of hepatitis C virus infection in the Poitou- Charentes region].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Réseau Hépatite Virale C Poitou-Charentes, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Jean-Bernard, Poitiers.



The prognosis of hepatitis C virus infection could be improved by early treatment. However, this is only possible if most patients with hepatitis C consult a specialized institution. The aim of this study was to evaluate the modalities of care of hepatitis C virus infection in one French district.


Between November and December 1997, 89 biological laboratories from the "Poitou-Charentes" district were asked to provide results of hepatitis C virus serology tests performed during this period. A questionnaire concerning epidemiological and follow-up data was sent to the medical practitioner who prescribed the test, for all positive tests.


Seventy eight out of 89 (88%) laboratoires agreed to participate in the study. During the study period, 6,168 subjects were tested and 196 (3.2%) were positive. This test was a diagnostic test in 69 cases (53%) and a confirmation test in 61 cases (47%). The epidemiological questionnaire was filled out in 130 cases. The main putative factors of viral contamination were: intravenous or nasal drug addiction in 69 cases (53%), blood transfusion in 39 cases (30%), and a nosocomial risk factor in 16 cases (12%). Treatment and care of virus infection was evaluated in 113 cases from the follow-up questionnaire: a liver biopsy was performed in 30 cases (27%) and interferon therapy was administered in 13 cases (12%). Liver biopsy was not performed in 83 cases (73%) due to normal transaminase levels or a contraindication to interferon therapy. The main causes of an absence of care or follow-up were: fear of complications of liver biopsy and/or side effects to interferon therapy (19%), chronic alcoholism (18%) and active drug addiction (8%).


The main causes of failure to administer adequate care in hepatitis C patients were chronic alcoholism, drug addiction and fear of liver biopsy or side effects of interferon therapy. These data should be taken into account for future screening or information compaigns for the general population.

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