- 1Department of Internal Medicine, Krankenhaus Nordwest, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
- 2Institute for Epidemiology, Social Medicine and Health Systems Research, Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Background: Chronic active hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem and causes liver fibrosis (LF) up to liver cirrhosis (LC). LF can be estimated by non-invasive, easy handling methods. With implementation of new HCV therapies, elimination rates of HCV are near 100%, resulting in less clinical complications and costs. The aim of our study was to evaluate the positive influence of HCV treatment on liver stiffness by non-invasive assessments of LF.
Methods: Sixty-two patients with HCV were treated with antiviral drug regimes. Serological fibrosis scores and ultrasound elastography (acoustic radiation force impulse and shear wave elasticity imaging (ARFI-SWEI)) were used for LF assessment on day 0 and 6 months after therapy.
Results: Antiviral treatment was successful in all cases. ARFI-SWEI measurements showed an improvement of all LF stages. Results of serological markers and scores were heterogeneous. Significant positive effects of treatment were seen for aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) scores, only. Further Pearson's coefficient showed moderate till very high correlations for ARFI-SWEI and FIB-4/APRI scores.
Conclusion: Today HCV therapy is able to cure HCV. Positive influences are improvement of LF stages. ARFI-SWEI, APRI and FIB-4 score are useful, easy handling tools to verify positive influence of HCV treatment on LF alone or in combination.