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Indications for treatment in chronic HCV infection

Milagros Dávalos-Moscol

Abstract

HCV Infection is a global burden disease and it is related to the development of progressive liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. At least 80% of the persons that have an acute infection evolve to chronicity. This event affects the patient and their contacts for the risk of acquiring the infection. Once chronic HCV is present some factors accelerate progression: older age, obesity, alcohol consumption, etc. Severity of fibrosis is one of the most important factors to be analyzed before deciding to treat a patient. Pegylated interferon and ribavirin is the “standard of care” for this disease, however, it has many side effects, some of them life threatening. That is the reason why this treatment must be indicated in the right moment in the right patient. A complete medical evaluation must be done previously to initiate treatment. Other concurrent problems must be ruled out or treated. Decompensated cirrhosis, autoimmune diseases or other uncontrolled disease are contraindication to HCV treatment. Previous failure to treatment for HCV must be analyzed to identify the reasons for that event and consider retreatment. Cryoglobulinemia and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis are indications for treatment independent from the severity of liver disease.

Key words. Hepatitis C infection, Treatment, Crioglobulinemia, Glomerulonephritis

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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