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Hepatol Commun. 2018 Sep 24;2(10):1274-1283. doi: 10.1002/hep4.1246. eCollection 2018 Oct.

Liver Disease Monitoring Practices After Hepatitis C Cure in the Underserved Population.

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Department of Medicine University of California San Francisco San Francisco CA.
Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital San Francisco CA.
Liver Center University of California San Francisco San Francisco CA.


Recent hepatitis C virus (HCV) guidelines recommend disease monitoring and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) screening in patients with advanced fibrosis after a sustained virologic response (SVR) with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy. However, data on practice patterns in this setting is lacking. We aimed to characterize disease monitoring and HCC screening practices post-SVR in an underserved HCV-infected cohort. Records of 192 patients who received DAA therapy at the San Francisco safety-net health care system between January 2014 and January 2016 with ≥12 months of follow-up post-SVR were reviewed. Patient characteristics were median age 58 years, 61.5% men, 39.1% White (23.4% Black, 16.7% Latino, 16.2% Asian), 78.1% English proficient, 48.9% intravenous drug use, 53.2% alcohol use, and 41% advanced (F3 and F4) fibrosis (26.6% with decompensation, 11.4% with HCC). Median post-SVR follow-up time was 22 months. A higher proportion of patients with advanced fibrosis attended liver clinic visits (mean, 1.94 ± 2.03 versus 1.12 ± 1.09 visits; P = 0.014) and had liver imaging (41.4% versus 9.73%; P < 0.001) post-SVR, but there was no difference in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) testing (72.2% versus 66.4%; P = 0.40) compared to those without advanced fibrosis. However, 20% with advanced fibrosis had no HCC screening while 35% with no advanced fibrosis had liver imaging. Three patients with cirrhosis developed new HCC. Conclusion: Although the majority of patients with advanced fibrosis in this underserved cohort received post-SVR monitoring, gaps in HCC screening were identified and new cases of HCC occurred during a short follow-up. This highlights the importance of incorporating recently enhanced guidelines to optimize post-SVR monitoring, especially in difficult to engage populations.

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