Hepatitis C infection at a tertiary hospital in South Africa: Clinical presentation, non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis, and response to therapy
Background. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that leads to chronic liver disease, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality.
Objectives. To describe the demographic characteristics and clinical presentation of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. The aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and the fibrosis index based on 4 factors (FIB-4) were assessed for prediction of liver fibrosis.
Methods. We retrospectively reviewed 87 records of patients who presented to the liver clinic at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa, from January 2007 to December 2016. Patients’ records were reviewed and analysed using SPSS statistical software version 24. Convenience sampling was used.
Results. The patients’ mean (standard deviation (SD)) age was 52.6 (12.3) years. Fifty-four percent were female. Hepatitis C virus genotype 5 was exclusively found in blacks (p<0.001), constituting 60.3% of infections in this ethnic group and 48.7% in the cohort, followed by genotype 1 (21.8%), genotype 3 (15.4%), genotype 4 (10.3%) and mixed-genotype infections (3.8%). Genotype 5 patients were older (mean (SD) age 56.7 (9.8) years) than genotype 1 (46.3 (11.4) years) and genotype 3 (42 (9.8) years) (p=0.002 and p<0.001, respectively). The receiver operating characteristic curve for METAVIR F0 v. APRI (cut-off <0.7) showed a moderate correlation, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.349 (p=0.002), sensitivity of 78.8%, specificity of 70.6% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 63.2%. METAVIR F4 v. APRI (cut-off ≥1.5) showed an AUC of 0.881 (p=0.001) with sensitivity of 85.7%, specificity of 93% and a positive predictive value (PPV) of 67%. METAVIR F0 v. FIB-4 (cut-off <1.45) showed a moderate correlation, with an AUC of 0.332 (p=0.021), sensitivity of 78.3%, specificity of 53.8% and an NPV of 73.7%. METAVIR F4 v. FIB-4 (cut-off >3.25) had a strong correlation, with an AUC of 0.952 (p<0.001), sensitivity of 63.6%, specificity of 100% and a PPV of 100%. Early virological response (EVR) was found to predict sustained virological response (SVR) to therapy (odds ratio 27.8; 95% confidence interval 2.8 - 274.3; p=0.004).
Conclusions. Compared with other genotypes, genotype 5 was predominant in our cohort, particularly in older age groups. Moreover, APRI and FIB-4 scores correlated significantly with advanced fibrosis in HCV patients. Finally, EVR during therapy was found to determine SVR.
W B Abuelhassan, Division of Gastroenterology, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
G I Gasim, Division of Gastroenterology, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Faculty of Medicine, Alneelain University, Khartoum, Sudan
R Ally, Division of Gastroenterology, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
C Menezes, Division of Infectious Diseases, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
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Date published: 2020-08-31
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