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Hypergammaglobulinemia before Starting DAA Therapy Is A Strong Predictor of Disease Progression in Cirrhotic Patients Even after HCV Clearance

J Pers Med. 2022 Oct 31;12(11):1794. doi: 10.3390/jpm12111794.


The predictive factors of long-term clinical benefits in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver cirrhosis after Direct Antiviral Agents (DAA) treatment are still undefined. The aim of this study was to identify any predictors of liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and/or death in patients with compensated liver cirrhosis who achieved the sustained virological response (SVR). To this purpose, 324 consecutive cirrhotic patients who started DAA treatment from 1 April 2015 to 31 December 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. All patients were followed up for a median time of 63 months (range 19-77) through clinical/biochemical/instrumental examinations performed at baseline and after stopping the DAA treatment. At the end of the evaluation, 230 (71%) individuals showed stable clinical liver disease over time, 43 (13.3%) developed HCC, and 24 (7.4%) developed hepatic decompensation without HCC. Overall, 49 (15,1%) patients died. Multivariate regression analysis showed that hepatic decompensation was significantly associated with at baseline older age, higher liver stiffness, higher spleen longitudinal size values and hypergammaglobulinemia (p = 0.003, p = 0.005, p = 0.001, p = 0.029, respectively). HCC development was significantly associated with hypergammaglobulinemia (p < 0.001). Death was associated with older age and hypergammaglobulinemia (p < 0.001 and p = 0.007, respectively). Finally, survival analysis confirmed that patients with gamma globulin levels ≥ 1.8 gr/dl had a significantly higher risk of death compared to those with gamma globulin levels < 1.8 gr/dl (p < 0.001). In conclusion, hypergammaglobulinemia before starting DAA therapy represents a strong predictor of hepatic decompensation, HCC and death in cirrhotic patients even after HCV clearance.

PMID:36579534 | DOI:10.3390/jpm12111794

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