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      Hepatitis C and renal disease: an update

      , , ,
      American Journal of Kidney Diseases
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Hepatitis C is both a cause and a complication of chronic renal disease. Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) can lead to the immune complex syndromes of cryoglobulinemia and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN). The pathogenetic mechanisms for these conditions have not been defined, although they are clearly caused by the chronic viral infection. Management of HCV-related cryoglobulinemia and MPGN is difficult; antiviral therapy is effective in clearing HCV infection in a proportion of patients, but these conditions can be severe and resistant to antiviral therapy. Hepatitis C also is a complicating factor among patients with end-stage renal disease and renal transplants. The source of HCV infection in these patients can be nosocomial. Screening and careful attention to infection control precautions are mandatory for dialysis units to prevent the spread of hepatitis C. Prevention of spread is particularly important in these patients because HCV infection is associated with significant worsening of survival on dialysis therapy, as well as after kidney transplantation. Furthermore, therapy for hepatitis C is problematic, only partially effective, and associated with significant side effects in this population. There are significant needs in both basic and clinical research in the pathogenesis, natural history, prevention, and therapy for hepatitis C in patients with renal disease.

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          Most cited references131

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          Interferon alfa-2b alone or in combination with ribavirin as initial treatment for chronic hepatitis C. Hepatitis Interventional Therapy Group.

          Only 15 to 20 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C have a sustained virologic response to interferon therapy. We compared the efficacy and safety of recombinant interferon alfa-2b alone with those of a combination of interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin for the initial treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C. We randomly assigned 912 patients with chronic hepatitis C to receive standard-dose interferon alfa-2b alone or in combination with ribavirin (1000 or 1200 mg orally per day, depending on body weight) for 24 or 48 weeks. Efficacy was assessed by measurements of serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and serum aminotransferases and by liver biopsy. The rate of sustained virologic response (defined as an undetectable serum HCV RNA level 24 weeks after treatment was completed) was higher among patients who received combination therapy for either 24 weeks (70 of 228 patients, 31 percent) or 48 weeks (87 of 228 patients, 38 percent) than among patients who received interferon alone for either 24 weeks (13 of 231 patients, 6 percent) or 48 weeks (29 of 225 patients, 13 percent) (P<0.001 for the comparison of interferon alone with both 24 weeks and 48 weeks of combination treatment). Among patients with HCV genotype 1 infection, the best response occurred in those who were treated for 48 weeks with interferon and ribavirin. Histologic improvement was more common in patients who were treated with combination therapy for either 24 weeks (57 percent) or 48 weeks (61 percent) than in those who were treated with interferon alone for either 24 weeks (44 percent) or 48 weeks (41 percent). The drug doses had to be reduced and treatment discontinued more often in patients who were treated with combination therapy. In patients with chronic hepatitis C, initial therapy with interferon and ribavirin was more effective than treatment with interferon alone.
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            The prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in the United States, 1988 through 1994.

            Because many persons with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are asymptomatic, population-based serologic studies are needed to estimate the prevalence of the infection and to develop and evaluate prevention efforts. We performed tests for antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) on serum samples from 21,241 persons six years old or older who participated in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted during 1988 through 1994. We determined the prevalence of HCV RNA by means of nucleic acid amplification and the genotype by means of sequencing. The overall prevalence of anti-HCV was 1.8 percent, corresponding to an estimated 3.9 million persons nationwide (95 percent confidence interval, 3.1 million to 4.8 million) with HCV infection. Sixty-five percent of the persons with HCV infection were 30 to 49 years old. Seventy-four percent were positive for HCV RNA, indicating that an estimated 2.7 million persons in the United States (95 percent confidence interval, 2.4 million to 3.0 million) were chronically infected, of whom 73.7 percent were infected with genotype 1 (56.7 percent with genotype 1a, and 17.0 percent with genotype 1b). Among subjects 17 to 59 years of age, the strongest factors independently associated with HCV infection were illegal drug use and high-risk sexual behavior. Other factors independently associated with infection included poverty, having had 12 or fewer years of education, and having been divorced or separated. Neither sex nor racial-ethnic group was independently associated with HCV infection. In the United States, about 2.7 million persons are chronically infected with HCV. People who use illegal drugs or engage in high-risk sexual behavior account for most persons with HCV infection.
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              Efficient initiation of HCV RNA replication in cell culture.

              Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global health problem affecting an estimated 170 million individuals worldwide. We report the identification of multiple independent adaptive mutations that cluster in the HCV nonstructural protein NS5A and confer increased replicative ability in vitro. Among these adaptive mutations were a single amino acid substitution that allowed HCV RNA replication in 10% of transfected hepatoma cells and a deletion of 47 amino acids encompassing the interferon (IFN) sensitivity determining region (ISDR). Independent of the ISDR, IFN-alpha rapidly inhibited HCV RNA replication in vitro. This work establishes a robust, cell-based system for genetic and functional analyses of HCV replication.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                American Journal of Kidney Diseases
                American Journal of Kidney Diseases
                Elsevier BV
                02726386
                October 2003
                October 2003
                : 42
                : 4
                : 631-657
                Article
                10.1016/S0272-6386(03)00828-X
                14520615
                4ed9bc3b-9010-4c70-bfc7-1a7c32f2550e
                © 2003

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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