Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA.
Department of Cirrhosis, Institute of Liver Disease, Shuguang Hospital, ShangHai, China.
Center for Clinical Informatics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.
Departments of Medicine and Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
To examine the role that autoantibodies (auto-abs) play in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) regarding demographics, presence of extrahepatic manifestations and long-term outcomes in a large US cohort.
Auto-abs have been reported to be prevalent in patients with chronic HCV infection, but data on the natural history of these patients are limited.
The study included 1556 consecutive patients with HCV without concurrent HIV and/or HBV who had testing for antinuclear antibody (ANA), antimitochondrial antibody (AMA), antismooth muscle antibody (ASMA) and/or antiliver kidney microsomal antibody (LKM). Primary outcomes included development of cirrhosis, hepatic decompensations, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), mortality and/or sustained virological response (SVR) to antiviral therapy.
A total of 388 patients tested positive for any auto-ab (ANA 21.8%, ASMA 13.3%, AMA 2.2% and LKM 1.2%). Patients who tested positive versus negative were more likely to be women (29.3% vs 20.9%, p<0.001) and less likely to achieve SVR with most treated patients receiving interferon-based therapies (37.2% vs 47.1%, p=0.031). There was no difference between groups for baseline laboratory data, disease state or rate of extrahepatic manifestations (42.8% vs 45.0%, p=0.44). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed no statistically significant difference between groups for the 10-year development of cirrhosis, hepatic decompensations, HCC nor survival. Furthermore, auto-ab positivity was only found to be a predictor for a lower rate of SVR on multivariate analysis (adjusted OR=1.61, 95 % CI 1.00 to 2.58, p=0.048).
In our cohort, auto-ab positivity was common, especially in women, and predicted a lower rate of SVR but otherwise had no impact on the natural history of chronic HCV or presence of extrahepatic manifestations.