Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
717272 tn?1277590780

Re-Biopsy after SVR

I just got the results of my post-TX biopsy.  Re-biopsy is not typically recommended but I have plans to move away from good health care and needed verification that I will be safe.  I was biopsied and started TX as a genotype 1 in November 2008.  The '08 biopsy was very bad; grade 3 inflammation, stage 4 fibrosis.  The pathologist called it 'probable or incipient cirrhosis'.  Scared me to death!  I went through a very rough 28 week TX and am still not recovered from it.  My doctor recommended that I wait one full year after the end of TX (June 1).  Here are the new results: Grade 1, Stage 2-3.

I had hoped for 2 stages of regression and then got scared of being overly optimistic and jinxing myself.  The doctor was astounded, I am astounded.  I asked if, since the biopsy was done so soon after TX, he thought I would continue to heal and he did not have an answer because it's so rare for SVR patients to re-biopsy and there's just nothing to compare to.  He thinks more regression is likely.  I also asked him if I could stop worrying about liver cancer and he cautiously said that he thought so, that he thought HCC, the type of liver cancer we HCV patients worry about, was highly associated with both cirrhosis and HCV together and since I had lost both I was probably safe now.  Not for sure, but 'probably' is good enough for me.  

This may be my last post on the forum.  When I get the hard copy of the biopsy report, I'm thinking of adding it to my inch-thick file and burning the whole thing.  It's over.  Happy, happy, happy.
33 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
720656 tn?1311040235
Newleaf I am jumping for joy! Thank you so much for sharing the great news. Now you can move on to truly enjoying your life with this all behind you.

Please don't stay away though. There are plenty of us in the throws of treatment who can use your advice and experiences to get us through. Perhaps a vacation is in order to celebrate your fabulous news!

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
good to hear....congrats to you.  burn that sucker.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I would not burn the file. It's always good to have a record. We never know when it might come in handy.
Congratulations on your biopsy results. I agree that your liver histology could very well improve.

Be well,
Mike
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Dont burn the papers.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Incredible news. It gives us all some hard evidence that it is possible. Congratulations!
Dave
Helpful - 0
1067109 tn?1258330364
Howdy!

It's awesome to hear such good news.  I just did a 10-month post treatment blood draw and am still negative after the Telapravir trial.  My doc sugested I wait until mid 2011 and get another biopsy then to check the degree of regenerated tissue and grade of damage.  I'm looking forward to good things.  As far as burning the file...not me...I've invested several years of misery into the process of killing this thing.  If for no other reason, I'm keeping my stuff as a monument to perseverance and having won the battle!
Joey
Helpful - 0
1225178 tn?1318980604
That is SSSSOOOOO Great!!! I'm really happy for you!

I don't know if I'd burn that file or not. I'd be tempted to.
Thanks for sharing that with us... it is good to know that there is a chance of our liver being better than it was when we started tx. I know it isn't guaranteed... but then we don't have a guarantee that we'll wake up in the morning either.

I hate for you to leave us too. I've always enjoyed reading your posts. It is understandable that you'd want to put the past couple of years behind you and move forward though.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best.
(:-)
Diane
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Cool wow.

What we all hope for.

TTYL.

Susan

P.S. I planted a magnolia tree this year and it's doing great. What a beauty.
Helpful - 0
1010685 tn?1295032636
Wow, that is awesome news!!!  Congratulations - I am so happy for you!

Best wishes for getting on with your life my fellow Saints fan, and thank you very much for all of your help with my tx  :)
Helpful - 0
665963 tn?1360723554
Great News!!!  Thanks for sharing it. This is one crazy disease that we (some of us) have! The best to you in the future!
Helpful - 0
179856 tn?1333547362
That is absolutely fantastic news newleaf I am very happy for you - stage 2/3 means you did great.

I wish you the best of luck in where ever you and go and whatever you do. You've been a tremendous asset on the forum and I am sure everyone wishes you well in life.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi there. Congrats on the great news. I had a talk with Dr Shiffman about improvement in histology scores when he biopsied my friend who was in the HALT C trials. She was Stage 4, cleared, and had her biopsy 7 years post treatment. She went from a Stage 4 to a Stage 0-1. He told us that the liver continues to improve for quite a number of years. I am very happy for you.
Helpful - 0
717272 tn?1277590780
Thanks to all for well wishes.  I really posted to let others know that the information floating around about regression of fibrosis is true & I, for one, can verify it.  I'll be carrying the re-biopsy report to all my non-GI doctors who still believe that cirrhosis is irreversible and a death sentence.  I took a lot of encouragement from Dr. Shiffman's HALT-C presentation this year, which said that 10% of cirrhotics can go all the way back to zero damage in 4-5 years after SVR.  Hope I make it.  It's quite an emotional recharge to go from fearing doom to knowing that an essential internal organ is remaking itself all shiney new.  I'm liking it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
very, very, good news - being able to put all this into past tense really is the goal here isn't it? Thanks for posting the bx update , a  rare data point as you point out, and for everything you've contributed here. You'll be missed!.

There's something to be said for the health benefits of a worry-free life, but I'd recommend continuing the occasional US scans. Occurrence of hcc, with hcv as the primary risk factor but without cirrhosis, is rarer but not nonexistent:

"The average annual risk of HCC in patients with cirrhosis from HCV is 3.2% (13). The annual risk in Japan is approximately 6% to 7% (14). Among patients without cirrhosis, the annual risk increases as the stage of fibrosis increases (F0 or F1 [none or minimal portal fibrosis] = 0; F2 [periportal fibrosis] = 1.5%; F3 [bridging fibrosis] = 5.1%) (15)"

from (free access)
"Hepatocellular carcinoma: management of an increasingly common problem."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18628926
Helpful - 0
412873 tn?1329174455
Great news!!  I'm so happy for you!!!

I say copy the file and then burn =)

All the best,

Isobella
Helpful - 0
751342 tn?1534360021
I am sooo glad to hear this! Best to you in whatever you do.
Anne
Helpful - 0
223152 tn?1346978371
Stunning news.  I am so glad you posted it.  It furthers all the reports that when you achieve SVR, you can improve your liver.  This is encouragement for all.  So, happy new life.


I had a post treatment (relapse) biopsy and saw no improvement.  Stage 1, Grade 1-2 pre treatment and the same after.  I believe it is only if you are able to stop the inflamation caused by the virus that your liver can improve.

Good luck in your future
frijole
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
In answer to your question, Royal Star!

Congrats, again.

Susan

P.S. Your note and PM functions are disabled.
Helpful - 0
717272 tn?1277590780
nygirl - new biopsy was not 2/3, it's 1/2 with a few features of stage 3.  You've been off TX for years and your liver may be that good or better after more time to heal than me.

frijole - my doctor made a big fuss about low enzymes at end of TX.  When he explained the biopsy he noted that it's all about inflammation.  Inflammation causes the scarring in the first place.  Reduce inflammation (by stopping the assault) and no new scarring will occur; just a matter of breaking down the old collagen scarring after that.  

Portann, I'll fix that.  Royal Star is a good magnolia!
Helpful - 0
87972 tn?1322661239
Really cool stuff, Newleaf. I agree with Willing; keep up the watch for any development of HCC. I’m a couple of years out now, and continue to go in for U/S scans and AFP every six months; in fact, I have a follow up mid-week with my hepatologist. I don’t see them backing away from this either; they feel strongly it’s so much better in terms of care and management to spot it early were it to develop.

Other than that, who-effin-ray!

Can you burn those labs in effigy? Maybe touch off some IRS bullsh!t  in it’s honor :o)?

Oh, and I'm glad to hear your doctor values low enzymes. I just had labs done, and my ALT/AST were 18/22 respectfully. Good news, indeed :)

All the best, and thanks for sharing the news,

--Bill

Helpful - 0
338734 tn?1377160168
Great  news! I am happy for you. Best wishes your way always!

Brent
Helpful - 0
223152 tn?1346978371
new leaf (and bill)
My liver enzymes have always been low -- in the 20s.  It was only after treatment and relapse that they spiked - in the 50s and then as high as the 80s.  That is how I knew that I had relapsed before I had the VL test.  Now they are back in the 20s.  haven't had a viral load test done in a couple of years but I imagine it is about where I was before treating.  I too believe that we can use the liver enzymes as indicators.In me they indicate a low inflammation level.

frijole
Helpful - 0
1225178 tn?1318980604
That didn't apply to me... the liver enzymes indicating inflammation that is. Because of another liver issue, I had to have regular liver panels done since 2002 and they have always been normal until this past January and then they were just a little above normal. Just enough to cause my doctor to have me checked for hepatitis. Two months later the biopsy showed stage 2 grade 2 so unless it could progress that much in 2 months, the inflammation had to be going on while my enzymes were normal.

This is probably why so many people go undiagnosed. Just like in sx, everybody is so different, they can't say any one certain thing points to inflammation or infection for that matter.
Helpful - 0
717272 tn?1277590780
Alright already.  I had an ultrasound of abdomen on Friday, including liver.  Will include AFP in with some other bloodwork this fall.  Was only up to 17.5 at highest pre-TX level but it will not kill me to look at it a few more times.

I AM going to burn all of the lab reports, though.  File's an inch thick and weighs a few pounds.  I cannot imagine why I would ever want to look back at it and see how desperately ill I was on chemo.  I did graph it all on a single sheet and probably won't delete the graph for a while, but looking at the file can only make me feel bad. I don't want any of that information.   Maybe I'll keep the 2 biopsy reports.  
Helpful - 0
2
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Hepatitis C Community

Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473358451
DC
683231 tn?1467323017
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Condoms are the most effective way to prevent HIV and STDs.
PrEP is used by people with high risk to prevent HIV infection.
Can I get HIV from surfaces, like toilet seats?