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Hepatitis C cure with antiviral therapy – benefits beyond the liver

Vincent Soriano, Pablo Labarga, José V Fernandez-Montero, Carmen de Mendoza, Isabella Esposito, Laura Benítez-Gutiérrez, Pablo Barreiro

Corresponding author name: Vincent Soriano
Corresponding author e-mail: vsoriano@dragonet.es

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2016; 21:1-8
doi: 10.3851/IMP2975

Date accepted: 21 June 2015
Date published online: 25 June 2015


Liver disease is the major complication of chronic HCV infection. However, extrahepatic complications are common (50–75%), including mixed cryoglobulinaemia and B-cell lymphomas. Given that chronic hepatitis C has become curable using expensive oral direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), it seems worth revisiting the whole spectrum and burden of disease in HCV carriers.

Herein, we update the most clinically significant medical complications associated with chronic hepatitis C and the evidence of benefits that would derive from a wide use of curative DAA therapies.

Chronic HCV infection is associated with a broad spectrum of clinical conditions, including distinct rheumatic disorders (polyarthritis, sicca syndrome), lymphoproliferative conditions (mixed cryoglobulinaemia, monoclonal gammapathies and B-cell lymphomas) and damage at other organs due to persistent systemic inflammation, leading to renal, bone, neurological and/or cardiovascular disease. Eradication of HCV with DAAs is associated with amelioration and/or resolution of most liver-related and extrahepatic complications. Ultimately, gains in quality of life and survival favour treating everyone with hepatitis C regardless of liver fibrosis stage.


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