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Fibrosis & Cirrhosis

Treating Hepatitis C in People with Compensated Cirrhosis Is Most Cost-effective Approach

Interferon-based combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is most cost-effective -- saving more than $55,000 compared with no treatment -- when initiated in patients with compensated cirrhosis rather than waiting until progression to decompensated cirrhosis or HCV recurrence after a liver transplant, according to research from the University of California at Los Angeles reported in the June 2010 issue of Liver Transplantation.


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Chronic Hepatitis C Complications are Increasing, Especially among People Older than 60 Years

The proportion of people with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who will develop advanced liver disease including cirrhosis, decompensation, and liver cancer is likely to increase over the next 10-20 years as people infected decades ago reach the stage of developing advanced disease; these complications are expected to be especially common among people over age 60. But more widespread treatment could significantly lower projected rates of disease progression, according to a study published in the February 2010 issue of Gastroenterology.

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CROI 2010: Moderate Liver Fibrosis Predicts Disease and Death in HIV/HCV Coinfected People, but Successful Treatment Appears Protective

Even moderate liver fibrosis (greater than stage F1) in HIV/HCV coinfected patients is associated with adverse clinical outcomes including liver cancer, liver failure, and death, investigators reported at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2010) last week in San Francisco. However, effective HIV treatment producing long-term viral suppression and successful hepatitis C treatment leading to sustained virological response appeared to be protective.

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Appetite-regulating Hormone Ghrelin May Inhibit Inflammation and Liver Fibrosis

Ghrelin, an appetite-regulating hormone produced primarily in the stomach, reduced liver fibrosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in rats and protected them from both chronic and acute liver injury, according to a study published in the March 2010 issue of Hepatology. Researchers also found that ghrelin levels were lower in chronic hepatitis patients with advanced fibrosis. If confirmed in future studies, ghrelin may have potential as an anti-fibrotic therapy.

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Bone Loss and Vitamin D Deficiency Are Common among People with Liver Cirrhosis

People with liver cirrhosis -- a potential outcome of chronic hepatitis B or C -- frequently experience bone loss, or reduced bone mineral density (BMD), and often have low vitamin D levels, according to an Indian study published in the July 28, 2009 issue of World Journal of Gastroenterology.

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