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J Viral Hepat. 2018 Apr;25(4):329-334. doi: 10.1111/jvh.12819. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Disappearance of perihepatic lymph node enlargement after hepatitis C viral eradication with direct-acting antivirals.

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Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Perihepatic lymph node enlargement (PLNE) which has been shown to be negatively associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurrence is frequently observed in chronic liver disease; however, changes in the state of perihepatic lymph nodes after eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have not been investigated yet. We aimed to evaluate this issue. We enrolled 472 patients with chronic HCV infection who achieved viral eradication with direct-acting antivirals (DAA). We investigated whether the status of perihepatic lymph nodes changed before and after HCV eradication (primary endpoint). We also evaluated the association between PLNE and clinical findings such as liver fibrosis or hepatocellular injury before HCV eradication (secondary endpoint). Perihepatic lymph node enlargement was detected in 164 of 472 (34.7%) patients before DAA treatment. Surprisingly, disappearance of PLNE was observed in 23.8% (39 patients) of all PLNE-positive patients after eradication of HCV. Disappearance of PLNE was not associated with baseline clinical parameters or changing rates of clinical findings before and after DAA treatment. At baseline, presence of PLNE was significantly associated with a lower serum HCV-RNA level (P = .03), a higher serum AST level (P = .004) and a higher ALT level (P < .001) after adjustment for sex and age. In conclusion, PLNEs became undetectable after DAA treatment in 23.8% of PLNE-positive patients. Further study with a longer follow-up period is needed to clarify the clinical importance of this phenomenon especially in relationship with the risk of HCC development.


direct-acting antivirals; hepatitis C; hepatocellular carcinoma; perihepatic lymph node enlargement

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