To determine the frequency of development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic liver disease secondary to hepatitis C who had achieved sustained virological response with Interferon and Ribavirin therapy.
Retrospective descriptive study.
PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY:
Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan, from January 2007 to January 2012.
Hepatitis C related chronic liver disease patients who were treated with interferon and ribavirin, after they achieved sustained virological response, they were followed for a mean of 42 ± 17 months. During this time, development of hepatocellular carcinoma was ascertained. All underwent surveillance with alpha-feto-protein and ultrasonography every 6 months.
Out of the 58 patients who had achieved sustained virological response, 3 developed hepatocellular carcinoma after a mean follow-up of 38 ± 14 months. It was multifocal in 2 cases and was single lesion in the 3rd. Two patients ultimately died, one with upper GI bleeding and the other with hepatic encephalopathy, while 3rd patient with single lesion is still surviving.
Three out of 58 patients of hepatitis C related chronic liver disease developed hepatocellular carcinoma during follow-up in patients who had achieved sustained virological response. These patients need closer follow-up, for development of complications, even if they have achieved sustained viral response.