Liver cirrhosis (LC) is the most common cause of portal hypertension. In chronic hepatitis C patients who are treated with direct-acting antiviral therapy (DAAS), the progression of cirrhosis can be reversed with treatment. Portal hypertension is also expected to improve with a virological response.
To evaluate the effect of direct-acting antiviral therapy on portal circulation hemodynamics in cirrhotic patients infected with HCV.
This study included 78 consecutive patients with chronic HCV-related liver disease. They were treated by a sofosbuvir-based regimen in combination with daclatasavir. All patients were subjected to routine investigations (complete blood count, liver and renal function tests), hepatitis B surface antigen, α feto protein, PCR of HCV RNA, imaging (abdominal ultrasound and colored Doppler and duplex examination for the assessment portal hypertension) before starting treatment and after 1 year.
There was a significant improvement in Doppler parameters such as portal vein (PV) diameter, PV velocity, PV cross-sectional area, portal congestive index, splenic vein diameter, and spleen span; the decrease in portal pressure occur in about 55% of the patients; several factors are associated with non-response as a history of bilharziasis, patients from a rural area, presence of splenomegaly and varices, low HB level, low platelet count, and high level of fibrosis.
Sustained virological response to direct-acting antiviral therapy is associated with a reduction in portal pressure in patients with liver cirrhosis and clinically significant portal hypertension.