Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis progression in hepatitis C patients retreated for 96 weeks with antiviral therapy: a randomized study.
Liver international : official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver
Zarski JP, Sturm N, Desmorat H, Melin P, Raabe JJ, Bonny C, Sogni P, Pinta A, Rouanet S, Babany G, Cheveau A, Chevallier M
2010 Liver Int. Volume 30 Issue 7
The efficacy of a maintenance therapy in non-responder patients with chronic hepatitis C has been essentially evaluated by histological semiquantitative scores.
The aim was to evaluate the efficiency of 2 years of treatment with peginterferon alpha-2a vs alpha-tocopherol in these patients by histology, morphometry and blood markers of fibrosis.
Hundred and five HCV patients with a Metavir fibrosis score > or = 2 were randomized to receive peginterferon alpha-2a 180 microg/week (PEG) (n=55) or alpha-tocopherol (TOCO) 1000 mg/day (n=50) for 96 weeks. The primary endpoint was improvement or stabilization of the Metavir fibrosis score by biopsy performed at week 96. Secondary endpoints included a quantitative assessment of fibrosis by morphometry and changes in blood markers of fibrosis.
There was no difference at baseline between PEG and TOCO according to the metavir (83.3 vs 86.8%, P=0.751) stage. The median fibrosis rate, measured with morphometry was 2.72 and 2.86% at day 0, and 3.66 and 2.82% at week 96, in the PEG and TOCO groups (P=0.90) respectively. However, the percentage of patients with metavir activity grade improvement was significantly higher in the PEG group vs the TOCO group (52.8 vs 23.7%, P=0.016). Non-invasive markers analysis did not show any significant change in both groups.
Long-term therapy with peginterferon alpha-2a did not reduce liver fibrosis degree assessed by morphometry and blood tests as compared with alpha-tocopherol. Blood tests could be useful to assess liver fibrosis changes in clinical trials.