Liver steatosis in hepatitis C positive hemodialysis patients and factors affecting IFN-2a treatment

Yildirim B., Durak H., Ozaras R., Canbakan B., Ozkan P., Ozbay G., ...More

SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY, vol.41, no.10, pp.1235-1241, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Objective. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is endemic among hemodialysis (HD) patients. It is well known that HCV causes approximately 50% of hepatosteatosis in patients with normal renal function and that this rate is higher in patients infected with genotype 3. The aim of this study was to investigate the rate of steatosis, the regression in steatosis with interferon (IFN) treatment and factors affecting IFN treatment in hemodialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C ( CHC). Material and methods. Thirty-seven HD patients with CHC were included in the study. All patients received hemodialysis treatment three times a week during the follow-up period. Patients were treated with 3 million units ( MU) of IFN-alpha 2a monotherapy for at least 6 months. All patients were evaluated by liver biopsy before therapy and 16 were evaluated at 12-month follow-up. Results. Mean age of the 37 patients ( 23 M, 14 F) was 44 +/- 11.6 years and body mass index was 21.8 +/- 1.8 kg/m(2). Twenty-eight of the patients included in the study (75.7%) were of genotype 1b. RNA response after treatment was 78.4% and sustained response after the follow-up period of 14.9 +/- 8 months was 54%. Total cholesterol values were directly proportional to RNA response (p < 0.003) and inversely correlated with resistance to treatment (p < 0.008). Triglyceride values were inversely correlated with resistance to treatment (p < 0.041). At evaluation of steatosis scores in baseline liver biopsy, severe and mild to moderate steatosis was found in 3 (8.1%) and 16 (43.2%) patients, respectively. In 18 patients (48.7%) there was no steatosis. The rate of steatosis was found to be 44% in control biopsies. While there was no regression in the rates of steatosis (p =0.499), it was found that steatosis regressed after IFN treatment in two patients infected with genotype 3. No correlations were observed between HCV genotype, sustained response and liver steatosis. Conclusions. Response and sustained response rates of HD patients with HCV in a Turkish population were found to be high after IFN monotherapy. With the exception of two patients infected with genotype 3a, the rate of liver steatosis was found to be high and did not change after IFN treatment in HD patients with CHC.