J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Nov; 22(11):1886-1893, Fujita et al.:
Hepatic iron accumulation is associated with disease progression and resistance to interferon/ribavirin combination therapy in chronic hepatitis C.
Background and Aims:
Liver iron accumulation in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) has received increasing attention in recent years. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of liver iron deposition in CHC, to assess its relationship with clinical, biochemical and histological characteristics, and to study its influence on the response to interferon (IFN) plus ribavirin combination therapy. Methods: We studied liver biopsy specimens from 103 hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 34 hepatitis B virus (HBV) infected patients and total iron score (TIS) was measured. Seventy patients infected with HCV genotype 1b were treated with IFN/ribavirin for 24 weeks.
Results: CHC patients had a significantly higher TIS than chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients (7.03 +/- 5.34 vs 4.41 +/- 4.49, P = 0.0056). TIS was significantly correlated with alcohol intake (P = 0.0213, r = 0.290), transaminase level (P = 0.0126, r = 0.247), platelet count (P = 0.0002, r = -0.369), histological grading (P = 0.0121, r = 0.248) and staging (P = 0.0003, r = 0.356) in CHC patients. Pretreatment TIS was significantly higher in non-sustained virological responders (SVR) than in SVR to IFN/ribavirin treatment (TIS = 7.69 +/- 5.76 vs 4.39 +/- 3.27, P = 0.0310). Multiple regression analysis showed that TIS was the only independent variable associated with resistance to IFN/ribavirin (P = 0.0277).
Conclusions: Liver iron deposition was common in CHC compared to CHB and was associated with liver disease progression. Increased hepatic iron stores in CHC were related to resistance to IFN/ribavirin treatment.
Comment drofi: An easy way to decrease TIS is phlebotomy.