Hepatic steatosis in HCV-infected persons in the direct-acting antiviral era.

Heather Stevenson, Netanya S. Utay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 130-170 million people worldwide. Recently, direct-acting antivirals have been shown to eradicate HCV infection in 90-95 % of non-cirrhotic patients depending on genotype, treatment experience, and regimen used. Similar rates are achieved among compensated cirrhotics, although longer treatment duration and/or ribavirin may be required. HCV uses host lipid metabolism for its lifecycle and can cause hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance. Hepatic steatosis, defined as excessive triglyceride deposition in hepatocytes, affects approximately half of HCV-infected individuals. Genetic factors and co-morbidities can drive further steatosis, which in turn can instigate fibrosis and progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Polymorphisms in genes that modulate lipid deposition in hepatocytes such as patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) and transmembrane six superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) predispose people to steatosis. Metabolic syndrome, obesity, and insulin resistance are increasing worldwide and further contribute to hepatic steatosis, and alcohol has long been recognized as a cause of lipid deposition in the liver. HIV and antiretroviral drugs, but not HBV, may further drive hepatic steatosis. While many of these factors limit response to interferon-based regimens for treating HCV, responses to direct-acting antivirals appear not to be impaired. The effect of HCV eradication on hepatic steatosis and progression to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma warrants further study in the era of direct-acting antivirals.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines
StatePublished - 2016

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