Reasons for nonuse of antiviral treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection and thrombocytopaenia: a retrospective chart review from five European countries.

Antiviral therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of disease progression, liver damage and death in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. While interferon labels recommend that patients with platelet counts below 50 × 10(3) /μL not receive interferon-based therapy, it is unknown to what extent thrombocytopaenia influences treatment decisions in practice. This study profiles the reasons for withholding antiviral treatment in HCV patients with thrombocytopaenia in five European countries. Medical records of 466 patients who had HCV infection and thrombocytopaenia (platelet count <100 × 10(3) /μL) in 2006 were retrospectively reviewed for clinical characteristics. Collected data included use of antiviral therapy and reasons for withholding therapy. In total 184 of 466 patients (39.5%) did not receive interferon-based therapy during the study period, with treatment withheld most frequently due to multiple clinical characteristics including hepatic cirrhosis (16.3%), thrombocytopaenia (16.3%) and age >60 years (10.9%). The reasons for lack of treatment varied among countries, with thrombocytopaenia as a reason being more common in Italy (10.9%) and Spain (20.0%), and less common in France, Germany and the UK (3.2-7.1%). Overall, thrombocytopaenia was reported as the only reason for withholding treatment in 4.9% of untreated patients. This study demonstrates that thrombocytopaenia is one of many factors, indicative of the poor clinical state of the patient, that contributes to withholding antiviral treatment. In 4.9% of untreated patients, thrombocytopaenia can be considered as a modifiable factor to enable more HCV patients to receive guideline-recommended therapy and thus improved clinical outcomes.
AuthorsM Rizzetto, K Grotzinger, D Theodore, D Demuth, W L Irving, M Manns, A Roughley, U M Forssen
JournalJournal of viral hepatitis (J Viral Hepat) Vol. 21 Issue 10 Pg. e129-34 (Oct 2014) ISSN: 1365-2893 [Electronic] England
PMID24698004 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Copyright© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Chemical References
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiviral Agents (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic (complications, drug therapy)
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Withholding Treatment (utilization)
  • Young Adult

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