Long-term monitoring of platelet count, as a non-invasive marker of hepatic fibrosis progression and/or regression in patients with chronic hepatitis C after interferon therapy

Hideaki Taniguchi, Yoshiaki Iwasaki, Akiko Fujiwara, Kohsaku Sakaguchi, Akio Moriya, Piao Cheng Yu, Akinobu Takaki, Shin Ichi Fujioka, Hiroyuki Shimomura, Yasushi Shiratori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Platelet count has been shown to correlate with the hepatic fibrosis stage in chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The aim of the present study was to assess hepatic fibrosis progression or regression of CHC patients by long-term monitoring of the platelet count. Methods: A total of 429 interferon (IFN)-treated CHC patients were studied. Follow-up data on the platelet count were collected every 6 months after IFN therapy. The IFN response was defined as follows: complete responders (CR, n = 121) demonstrating persistent clearance of serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA; biochemical responders (BR, n = 94) demonstrating alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization for ≥6 months without eradication of HCV-RNA; and non-responder (NR, n = 214) demonstrating all other patterns. Results: In comparison with the baseline level, mean platelet count increased in the CR group from 0.5 years after IFN therapy (for each point, P < 0.01), but significantly decreased in the NR group from 1 year after IFN therapy (for each point, P < 0.01). In the BR group, an increase in mean platelet count was observed from 0.5 to 3.5 years following IFN therapy (for each point, P < 0.01), followed by a gradual decrease. Conclusion: An increase from baseline values in platelet count was observed, regardless of the presence of HCV-RNA, in both the CR and BR groups, suggesting the importance of ALT normalization in preventing hepatic fibrosis progression in IFN-treated CHC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Volume21
Issue number1 PART2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Fibrosis progression
  • Fibrosis regression
  • Hepatitis C
  • Interferon
  • Platelet count

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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