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European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology:
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e32834ae825
Original Articles: Hepatitis

The early on-treatment perihepatic lymph node response predicts sustained viral response of anti-hepatitis C virus therapy

Lin, Yu-Mina; Sheu, Ming-Jena; Kuo, Hsing-Taoa,b; Feng, I-Chea; Sun, Chi-Shua; Koay, Lok-Benga; Lin, Ching-Yiha

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Background and aims: In chronic hepatitis C, the change of perihepatic lymph nodal size after antiviral therapy could be a marker of virologic response. Whether the on-treatment nodal manifestations predict virologic responses is unknown.

Methods: Patients (n=88) with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C received standard doses of bi-therapy for 24 weeks; sequential changes of the perihepatic lymph nodes were evaluated prospectively by ultrasound. Pretreatment and on-treatment factors were analyzed and correlated with sustained virologic response, focusing on early on-treatment nodal changes (12 weeks).

Results: Perihepatic lymph nodes were prevalent in 75% of the patients; 72 patients (81.8%) achieved sustained viral response. Before treatment, no factor was significantly associated with the nodal prevalence or size. The pretreatment nodal width (mean 5.3 vs. 3.6 mm; P=0.023) and the on-treatment nodal manifestations including a reduction in nodal width at 12 weeks of antiviral treatment (median; 1.05 vs. 0 mm, P=0.029) and a reduction of nodal volume at the end of treatment (24 weeks; median 0.62 vs. −0.01 ml, P=0.015) were significantly correlated with the sustained virologic response. A reduction of nodal width greater than 2.5 mm at 12 weeks always predicts sustained virologic response (100 vs. 77%; P=0.019).

Conclusion: Results confirm the high prevalence of perihepatic lymphadenopathy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. The use of the nodal width measurement in routine ultrasound follow-up may be a simpler early predictor of sustained virologic response during standard bi-therapy.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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