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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Mar;33(5):559-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04549.x. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

The natural history of acute hepatitis C: clinical presentation, laboratory findings and treatment outcomes.

Author information

1
Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acute hepatitis C has variable modes of presentation and frequently results in chronic infection. Its optimal management has yet to be defined.

AIM:

To establish natural history and complications of treatment of acute hepatitis C.

METHODS:

Data from all patients presenting with acute hepatitis C to the National Institutes of Health between 1994 and 2007 were reviewed.

RESULTS:

Twenty-five patients were identified. Symptoms were reported by 80% and jaundice by 40%. Aminotransferase levels and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA levels fluctuated greatly; 18% of patients were intermittently negative for HCV RNA. Five patients recovered spontaneously whereas 20 developed chronicity or received interferon-based therapy during the acute phase. Among 15 patients treated during the acute phase with peginterferon with or without ribavirin for 24 weeks, all became HCV RNA negative within 4-8 weeks, and all except two (HIV-positive) achieved a sustained virological response. Side effects (particularly psychiatric) were common and limited treatment in 30%.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among 25 patients with acute HCV infection, fluctuating illness was common and spontaneous recovery occurred in only 20%. Anti-viral treatment with a 24-week course of peginterferon and ribavirin was highly effective, but marked by frequent and severe side effects.

PMID:
21198704
PMCID:
PMC5577910
DOI:
10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04549.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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