Achieving sustained virological response: What's the impact on further hepatitis C virus-related disease?
Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology , Volume 9 - Issue 5 p. 559- 566
Continuous hepatic inflammation as a result of chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus may lead to the development of fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis. At the stage of cirrhosis, patients are at elevated risk of liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma, two complications that shorten their life expectancy. Survival may be further impaired by the extra-hepatic manifestations of chronic hepatitis C virus infection, such as diabetes mellitus and lymphoma. Sustained virological response (SVR) following antiviral therapy has been associated with regression of hepatic fibrosis as well as with a reduction in portal pressure, both important markers of liver disease severity. Long-term follow-up studies indicated that SVR was related not only to a reduced occurrence of solid clinical end points, including liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma, but also cardiovascular events and malignant lymphomas. Together, these findings may explain the recently observed improved overall survival among patients who attained SVR, even in the case of advanced liver disease.