Background/Aims: Few studies have investigated prognostic factors for the development of liver-related events (LREs) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) who achieve sustained virological response (SVR). Methods: We analyzed 190 patients with CHC who achieved SVR after treatment with pegylated interferon (peg-IFN) plus ribavirin. LREs were defined as any complications related to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver-related mortality. Results: The mean age was 54.1 years, and 84 of the patients (44.2%) were male. The mean liver stiffness (LS) value at SVR was 7.1±5.4 kPa. During the follow-up period (median, 43.0 months), LREs occurred in 10 patients (5.3%; HCC in eight patients, ascites in one patient, and liver-related mortality in one patient). By multivariate Cox regression analysis, age, a-fetoprotein level, and LS value were independent predictors for LRE development (all p < 0.05). Patients with LS values ≥7.0 kPa had a greater risk (hazard ratio, 9.472; 95% confidence interval, 1.018 to 88.126; p=0.048) for LRE development compared to those with LS values < 7.0 kPa. Conclusions: The LS value at SVR is useful for predicting LRE development in CHC patients who achieve SVR after treatment with peg-IFN plus ribavirin. Thus, LRE surveillance strategies might be optimized according to the LS values at SVR, even with complete viral eradication.
- Hepatitis C
- Liver stiffness
- Sustained virological response
- Transient elastography
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