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World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2013 May 6;4(2):16-22. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v4.i2.16.

Management practices of hepatitis C virus infected alcoholic hepatitis patients: A survey of physicians.

Author information

1
Ashwani K Singal, Habeeb Salameh, Anjna Singal, Sarat C Jampana, Daniel H Freeman, Karl E Anderson, Don Brunder, Departments of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Biostatistics and Library, University of YX Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, United States.

Abstract

AIM:

To survey gastroenterologists and hepatologists regarding their current views on treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected alcoholic hepatitis (AH) patients.

METHODS:

A sixteen item questionnaire was electronically mailed to gastroenterologists and hepatologists. A reminder was sent after 2 mo to increase the response rate. Participation of respondents was confidential. Accessing secured web site to respond to the questionnaire was considered as informed consent. Responses received on the secured website were downloaded in an excel sheet for data analysis.

RESULTS:

Analyzing 416 responses to 1556 (27% response rate) emails, 57% respondents (56% gastroenterologists) reported HCV prevalence > 20% amongst AH patients. Sixty nine percent often treated AH and 46% preferred corticosteroids (CS). Proportion of respondents with consensus (75% or more respondents agreeing on question) on specific management of HCV infected AH were: routine HCV testing (94%), HCV not changing response to CS (80%) or pentoxifylline (91%), no change in approach to treating HCV infected AH (75%). None of respondent variables: age, specialty, annual number of patients seen, and HCV prevalence could predict respondent to be in consensus on any of or all 4 questions. Further, only 4% would choose CS for treating HCV infected AH as opposed to 47% while treating HCV negative AH.

CONCLUSION:

Gastroenterologists and hepatologists believe that AH patients be routinely checked for HCV. However, there is lack of consensus on choice of drug for treatment and outcome of HCV positive AH patients. Studies are needed to develop guidelines for management of HCV infected AH patients.

KEYWORDS:

Alcoholic hepatitis; Alcoholic liver disease; Hepatitis C virus; Survey

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