1 National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani-IRCCS- Via Portuense, 292- 00149 Rome, Italy.
2 Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, London, UK and 3 NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
HCV has been recognized as the cause of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) since 1990. CHC is associated with progressive liver damage and extrahepatic conditions. Direct antiviral agents (DAAs), approved in 2014, have shown effectiveness in eradicating HCV in most patients. However, little is known about the effect of viral eradication on hepatic and extra-hepatic damage. We performed a historical cohort study of patients with HCV-related liver diseases who achieved SVR from March 2015 to October 2016 at INMI Lazzaro Spallanzani liver Unit in Rome (Italy). Repeated measures of glycaemia were analysed through a multilevel analysis framework to assess short time kinetics of blood glucose level at different times after therapy and for different levels of HCV viremia. The analysis included 205 patients. A model assessing temporal kinetics and variation of glycaemia according to HCV viremia provided evidence that blood glucose levels significantly dropped in patients with diabetes achieving SVR. Most of the variations occurred at 3-5 weeks of therapy (-17.96 mg/dL; p<0.001) and in coincidence with HCV clearance (-13.92 mg/dL; p<0.001). A weak, non-statistically significant reduction was observed in normoglycemic patients. Our study provides evidence that DAAs therapy may significantly improve glycaemic control in patients with CHC achieving SVR even when liver diseases are already established.