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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Feb;5(2):245-54.

Hepatic steatosis in hepatitis C: comparison of diabetic and nondiabetic patients in the hepatitis C antiviral long-term treatment against cirrhosis trial.

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Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0362, USA.



Hepatic steatosis often is observed in patients with chronic hepatitis C and has been reported to be associated with hepatic fibrosis and impaired treatment response in some studies. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for hepatic steatosis among Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis patients, and to determine the relationship between steatosis, fibrosis, and sustained virologic response (SVR) to re-treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.


Baseline data from 1143 Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis patients, with a mean body mass index of 30, 5% with genotype 3, 38% with cirrhosis, and 24% with diabetes were analyzed.


Steatosis scores of 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 were observed in 19%, 42%, 30%, 8%, and 1% of patients, respectively. High body mass index, triglyceride and alanine aminotransferase levels, and genotype 3 were associated with higher grades of steatosis. Among nondiabetic patients, steatosis scores of 0-2 but not scores of 3-4 were associated significantly with cirrhosis. For diabetic patients, there was no association between steatosis and cirrhosis. Similarly, steatosis scores of 2-4 were associated with a lack of SVR among nondiabetic but not among diabetic patients.


In this cohort with predominantly hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection, steatosis was associated strongly with metabolic factors that contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Steatosis correlated with increasing stages of fibrosis up to but not including cirrhosis. Steatosis had a negative impact on SVR among nondiabetic but not diabetic patients. The discordant findings between nondiabetic and diabetic patients indicate that these 2 groups should be considered separately when analyzing metabolic factors and liver disease outcomes.

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