- Chronic hepatitis C
- Liver histology
- Serum ALT
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between serial changes in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and histological outcome 5 years after treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C with interferon (IFN). Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 61 consecutive patients who underwent two liver biopsies, just before and 5 years after a 6-month course of IFN therapy, and who showed a relapse after therapy. The extent of liver fibrosis was estimated using a scale with seven grades. Results: At the end of 6-month IFN therapy, 40 (65.6%) patients had normal serum ALT concentrations. However, 13 of the 40 patients relapsed within 6 months after IFN therapy. The average ALT during 5 years in 40 patients was less than or equal to 75 IU/l, while in the other 21 patients it was more than 75 IU/l. Among the 40 patients with a mean ALT less than 75 IU/l, 13 (33%) patients showed histological improvement, 26 (65%) showed no changes and only 1 patient (2%) showed worsening of liver fibrosis. On the other hand, among the 21 patients with a mean ALT of more than 75 IU/l, only 1 (5%) patient showed improvement, 8 (38%) showed no changes and 12 patients (57%) showed worsening of liver fibrosis. Conclusion: There is a significant relationship between 5-year histological outcome and serial changes in serum ALT in patients with biochemical and virological relapse after IFN treatment for chronic hepatitis C.
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Masahiro Kobayashi, MD
Department of Gastroenterology, Toranomon Hospital
2-2-2 Toranomon, Minato-ku, 105-8470 Tokyo (Japan)
Tel. +81 44 877 5111, Fax +81 44 860 1623
Received: Received: June 26, 2000
Accepted: July 10, 2000
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 4, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 24
Intervirology (International Journal of Basic and Medical Virology)
Founded 1973 by J.L. Melnick; continued by F. Rapp (1986–1990); M.J. Buchmeier and C.R. Howard (1991–1993)
Vol. 43, No. 3, Year 2000 (Cover Date: May-June 2000 (Released October 2000))
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ISSN: 0300–5526 (print), 1423–0100 (Online)
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