Study identifies biomarkers that predict which hepatitis C, cirrhosis patients improve with treatment — 2 insights

A study presented at Digestive Disease Week examined how patient genotyping with advanced cirrhosis from hepatitis C virus could help healthcare professionals predict likelihood of improvement after treatment.

Lead study author and Lawrence-based University of Kansas Medical Center associate professor Winston Dunn, MD, followed 32 patients with decompensated cirrhosis at the University of Kansas Medical Center, who initially achieved a sustained virologic response. The researchers focused on the Rs738409 single nucleotide polymorphism.

Researchers followed the patients for 12 weeks to 48 weeks after sustained virologic response and tracked Model for End-Stage Liver Disease and Child-Pugh scores.

Here's what you should know.

1. Following antiviral treatment, five of 16 patients with CG or GG genotypes had worsened MELD or CPT scores.

2. Only one of the patients with the CC genotype had worsened scores.

Researchers concluded, "These findings suggest screening for the Rs738409 CG and GG genotypes in hepatitis C patients with decompensated cirrhosis can help to identify individuals who are less likely to recover after achieving a "cure" of their hepatitis C."

Dr. Dunn said his team is working on identifying the underlying reasons why these genotypes lead to worse health outcomes, and if fatty liver and insulin resistance impact recovery in patients treated with antiviral medicines.

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