Department of Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, NY, USA.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.
Gallstones and its complications are one of the most common hepatobiliary tract diseases. Several epidemiologic studies have suggested that patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection might be at an increased risk of gallstones. However, the data on this relationship remain inconclusive. This meta-analysis was conducted with the aims to summarize all available evidence.
A literature search was performed using MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from inception to May 2016. Studies that reported relative risks, odd ratios, or hazard ratios comparing the risk of gallstones among HCV-infected patients versus subjects without HCV infection were included. Pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using a random-effect, generic inverse variance method.
Eleven studies met our eligibility criteria and were included in the analysis. The pooled OR of gallstones in HCV-infected patients versus subjects without HCV infection was 1.83 (95% CI, 1.35 to 2.48, I2 = 89%). Subgroup analysis showed that significant risk was increased for both male (pooled OR of 2.07, 95% CI, 1.14 to 3.76) and female (pooled OR of 3.00, 95% CI, 2.16 to 4.17).
Our study demonstrated a significantly increased risk of gallstones among HCV-infected patients. Further studies are required to clarify how this risk should be addressed in the clinical picture.