1 Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
2 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
As direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents become more readily available for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, it is important to understand real-world treatment experiences. In order to assess the effectiveness of DAA regimens and factors that influence sustained virologic response (SVR) rates in the Veterans Affairs healthcare system, we retrospectively identified veterans with chronic hepatitis C who were treated with DAAs from January 2014 to June 2015. We determined SVR rates and collected data on demographics, genotype (GT), previous interferon-based treatment, antiviral regimens, and co-morbidities (HIV, prior solid organ transplant, hemodialysis) for analysis. Of 15,720 veterans, the majority were infected with genotype 1a (GT1a, 60.5%). Excluding the special populations, the overall cohort SVR rate was 92%. Compared to treatment-experienced patients, treatment-naïve patients had significantly higher SVR rates (90% vs 92%, p=0.006). Subgroups associated with lower likelihood of achieving SVR included African Americans (OR 0.79, 95%CI 0.69-0.91), GT3 (OR 0.65, CI 0.50-0.86), and cirrhosis (OR 0.91, CI 0.84-0.99) or decompensated cirrhosis (ascites: OR 0.78, CI 0.67-0.91, variceal bleed: OR 0.75, CI 0.57-0.99). The only treatment regimen independently associated with lower SVR rates was SOF+RBV+IFN (OR 0.65, CI 0.50-0.84). Special populations achieved high SVR rates: HIV 92%, hemodialysis 93%, liver transplant 96%, and renal transplant 94%. In conclusion, overall SVR rates were comparable to those reported in clinical trials, and carried over to historically more difficult-to-treat patients. Several patient- and treatment-related factors were identified as independent predictors of treatment failure, and suggest subgroups to target for efforts to improve therapeutic strategies.