Long-term Outcome of Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) Virus Infection in a Real-World Setting: The German LOTOS Study.

Wedemeyer H, Reimer J, Sandow P et al.

Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Liver international : official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver. Mar 2017.

There are few large-scale, prospective studies comparing liver-associated events in treated and untreated patients with CHC managed in routine clinical practice.Patients with CHC were prospectively enrolled in a non-interventional study. Data from patients with available documentation who had either achieved a sustained virological response, or were non-responders, relapsers, or had virological breakthrough following treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a ± ribavirin, or who had been diagnosed but never treated at least 3 years previously, and who remained under medical observation were analyzed. Primary endpoint was liver-associated events (composite of decompensation/liver failure, ascites, hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver transplant/placement on a transplant list).In all, 1,444 eligible patients were identified. Mean follow-up was 4.7 (standard deviation; SD 1.1) years. Patients with sustained virological response had a lower incidence of liver-associated events versus non-responders, relapsers, or virological breakthrough and never treated patients (1.7% versus 4.7% and 4.7%, respectively). The proportion of patients with cirrhosis increased from baseline in the non-responders, relapsers, or virological breakthrough (6.8% to 10.5%) and never treated group (3.7% to 8.4%), with an associated increase in severity, but was unchanged in the sustained virological response group (2.1%). Event-free survival was significantly higher in sustained virological response patients (p=0.0082).In this ‘real-world’ cohort, the achievement of sustained virological response almost eliminated liver-related morbidity and mortality compared with patients who failed to achieve sustained virological response and those who were untreated. Overall, the LOTOS cohort highlights the importance of timely and effective treatment for patients with CHC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.