[Management of chronic hepatitis C in 2012 in Belgium]

2012 Revue Médicale de Bruxelles 33;4 (223-227)

Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is a major public health problem. It is estimated that 15 to 35% of infected patients will develop cirrhosis after a period of 30 years. Fibrosis stage must be evaluated in all hepatitis-C-infected patients. Noninvasive methods for the evaluation of liver fibrosis have been developed, mainly serum markers and transient elastography or Fibroscan. The goal of therapy is to achieve a sustained virological response, defined by hepatitis C RNA undetectable in serum 6 months after the end of therapy. This indicates viral eradication. Treatment of chronic hepatitis C has considerably improved. The association of pegylated interferon with ribavirin remains the standard of care for non-genotype-1-infected patients. Genotype-1-infected patients (who represent the majority of cases) are preferentially treated by triple therapy pegylated interferon plus ribavirin plus a first generation protease inhibitor (telaprevir or boceprevir). While triple therapy represents a major advance, by increasing the possibility of viral eradication, such therapy also presents new challenges, including the need for strict compliance, risk of additional side effects and development of resistant variants, drug-drug interactions, etc., which call for first-rate expertise in management of chronic hepatitis C therapy. Several new antiviral compounds are currently in clinical development and might lead to viral eradication in the vast majority of infected patients in the near future.

Pubmed : 23091925