Title
The management of patients with mild hepatitis C The management of patients with mild hepatitis C
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Bruxelles ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Acta gastro-enterologica belgica. - Bruxelles, 1946 - 1995
Volume/pages
68(2005) :3 , p. 314-318
ISSN
0001-5644
ISI
000232784100005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) represents an important public health problem and is a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Chronic hepatitis C is a heterogeneous disease. Many patients have mild disease at presentation but not all of them will develop advanced liver disease. However, the identification of these patients with mild hepatitis C who will show progressive disease is difficult and is based on histological criteria and the assessment of co-factors (age, alcohol intake, steatosis). In addition, serum transaminases that are persistently normal on several occasions during 18 months may point to a more benign course. Patients with mild hepatitis C should not be excluded "a priori" from the possibility of being treated, as treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is safe and effective in this group. Overall, the decision to initiate therapy should be individualized and based on the severity of the disease by liver biopsy, the potential of serious side effects, the probability of response and the motivation of the patient.
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