Steatosis Is an Independent Predictor of Relapse Following Rapid Virologic Response in Patients With HCV Genotype 3

Samir R. Shah, Keyur Patel, Patrick Marcellin, Graham R. Foster, Michael Manns, Shyam Kottilil, Letha Healey, Erik Pulkstenis, G. Mani Subramanian, John G. McHutchison, Mark S. Sulkowski, Stefan Zeuzem, David R. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: It is recommended that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 3 infections receive 24 weeks of treatment. A rapid virologic response (RVR; at week 4) predicts a sustained virologic response (SVR), although not all patients with an RVR achieve an SVR. We explored the relationships among hepatic steatosis, level of HCV RNA, relapse, and RVR in a phase 3 randomized controlled trial of 932 patients infected with HCV genotype 2 (n = 427) or 3 (n = 505) who received 24 weeks of therapy with interferon-α. Methods: In patients with an RVR (HCV RNA <43 IU/mL), the presence of an SVR was modeled using multivariate logistic regression as a function of age, sex, weight, body mass index, insulin resistance, steatosis, and levels of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, alanine aminotransferase, liver fibrosis, and baseline HCV RNA. Results: RVR, SVR, and relapse rates among patients with HCV genotype 3 were 79.6%, 79.2%, and 15.6%, respectively; corresponding rates among patients with HCV genotype 2 were 86.7%, 84.3%, and 10.1%. An RVR had high predictive value for an SVR in patients with HCV genotypes 2 (88.9%) and 3 (88.1%). The strongest independent predictors of relapse in patients with genotype 3 and an RVR were steatosis (odds ratio 3.0; P = 003) and HCV RNA ≥400,000 IU/mL (odds ratio 2.5; P = 04). Relapse rates in patients with steatosis were 17.4% and 20.9% for low and high baseline levels of HCV RNA, respectively; corresponding rates in those without steatosis were 2.5% and 8.8%. Conclusions: Steatosis was associated with significantly higher rates of relapse, irrespective of viral load, in patients infected with HCV genotype 3 who had an RVR. Further studies are needed to determine if longer treatment durations are effective in patients with an RVR and these risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-693
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Liver Disease
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Response to Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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