HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Hepatitis C eradication with direct-acting anti-virals reduces the risk of variceal bleeding.
Moon AM, Green PK, Rockey DC, Berry K, Ioannou GN. Hepatitis C eradication with direct-acting anti-virals reduces the risk of variceal bleeding. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. 2020 Feb 1; 51(3):364-373.
The real-world, long-term benefits of sustained virologic response (SVR) on the risk of variceal bleeding remain unclear.
To assess the association between DAA-induced SVR and post-treatment variceal bleeding METHODS: We identified patients who initiated DAA-only anti-viral treatments in the United States Veterans Affairs healthcare system from 2013 to 2015. We followed patients until 1 January 2019 for the development of gastro-oesophageal variceal bleeding defined by diagnostic codes. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression to assess the association between SVR and development of variceal bleeding, adjusting for potential confounders.
Among 33 582 DAA-treated patients, 549 (1.6%) developed variceal bleeding after treatment (mean follow-up 3.1 years). Compared to no SVR, SVR was associated with a significantly lower incidence of variceal bleeding among all patients (0.46 vs 1.26 per 100 patient-years, adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 0.66, 95% CI 0.52-0.83), among patients with pre-treatment cirrhosis (1.55 vs 2.96 per 100 patient-years, AHR 0.73, 95% CI 0.57-0.93) and among patients without pre-treatment cirrhosis (0.07 vs 0.29 per 100 patient-years, AHR 0.33, 95% CI 0.17-0.65). The risk of variceal bleeding after treatment was lower in those who achieved SVR vs no SVR among patients who had non-bleeding varices (3.5 vs 4.9 per 100 patient-years) or bleeding varices (12.9 vs 16.4 per 100 patient-years) diagnosed before treatment, but these differences were not statistically significant in adjusted analyses.
DAA-induced SVR is independently associated with a lower risk of variceal bleeding during long-term follow-up in patients with and without pre-treatment cirrhosis. These findings demonstrate an important real-world benefit of DAA treatment.