Centro Hospitalar Of Lisbon Norte Hospital Santa Maria

Lisbon, Portugal

Centro Hospitalar Of Lisbon Norte Hospital Santa Maria

Lisbon, Portugal
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Libanio D.,Instituto Portugues Of Oncologia Do Porto | Marinho R.T.,Centro Hospitalar Of Lisbon Norte Hospital Santa Maria
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2017

Chronic hepatitis C is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, mainly related to fibrosis/cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Direct antiviral agents are highly effective and safe and can now cure > 90% of the patients. Sustained viral response (SVR) after interferon-based regimens has been associated with improvement in liver function, fibrosis and portal hypertension in a significant proportion of patients, although a point of no return seems to exist from which viral elimination is no longer capable of preventing portal hypertension progression and liver decompensation. Indeed, although SVR is associated with improvement of hepatic venous pressure gradients and therefore a decreased risk of de novo esophageal varices, several studies show that viral clearance does not eliminate the risk of variceal progression, liver decompensation and death in patients with pre-established portal hypertension. Although evidence about the effects of direct antiviral agents (DAAs) on clinically significant outcomes is still scarce and with short follow-up, DAAs can decrease the burden of the disease if patients are timely treated before significant fibrosis and portal hypertension develops. Studies with longer follow-up are waited to establish the real magnitude of hepatitis C treatment on portal hypertension. Future studies should also focus on predictors of portal hypertension resolution since it can influence management and avoid unnecessary monitoring. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing.

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