Natural history and predictors of disease severity in chronic hepatitis C

Julien Massard, Vlad Ratziu, Dominique Thabut, Joseph Moussalli, Pascal Lebray, Yves Benhamou, Thierry Poynard
Journal of Hepatology 2006, 44 (1): S19-24
Cirrhosis is the end-stage consequence of fibrosis progression in patients with chronic hepatitis C. The median time from infection to cirrhosis is 30 years, with a high inter-individual variability, which is now better understood. Several factors have been clearly shown to be associated with fibrosis progression rate: duration of infection, age, male gender, alcohol consumption, HIV co-infection and low CD4 count. Metabolic conditions such as steatosis, being overweight and diabetes are emerging as independent co-factors of fibrogenesis. The recent validation of non-invasive biomarkers should facilitate the study of fibrosis progression in large populations.

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