New Insights The Impact Of Antiviral Drugs On Iron Related Parameters In Hepatitis C Patients New Insights The Impact Of Antiviral Drugs On Iron Related Parameters In Hepatitis C Patients

New Insights: The Impact of Antiviral Drugs on Iron-Related Parameters in Hepatitis C Patients

Latest research highlights significant progress in treating Chronic Hepatitis C virus 1(HCV) patients with hyperferritinemia.

A study involving direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) has shown that iron parameters like serum ferritin, transferrin saturation and iron levels can be reduced.

Iron is crucial to many bodily functions but too much or too little can lead to serious diseases.

Ferritin, a protein that stores iron in the body, increases in various conditions including liver disease.2

High ferritin levels — or hyperferritinemia3 — which indicates iron overload and inflammation could also be seen.

The three-year study treated chronic HCV patients with hyperferritinemia with DAAs.

new insights the impact of antiviral drugs on iron related parameters in hepatitis c patients
Iron metabolism.

Researchers observed significant drops in ferritin, transferrin saturation and serum iron levels after treatment.

The findings suggest that HCV-related hyperferritinemia does not persist after DAA therapy and better outcomes are achieved when using DAAs on HCV patients.

This breakthrough discovery provides new insights into the effect of antiviral therapy on iron metabolism among HCV patients.

It might pave the way for better management of iron-related disorders caused by liver diseases like HCV. This will enable a more holistic patient care approach by doctors.

Effect of Anti Viral agents on Iron Metabolism

Research shows that direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) can have an impact on iron metabolism in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and hyperferritinemia.

Another study conducted from January 2018 to December 2020 that included patients treated with DAAs for HCV aimed to investigate the impact of DAAs on iron storage levels in these patients before and after treatment. To be included in the current study, patients had to have pre-treatment hyperferritinemia (>400 μg/L) and sustained viral response (SVR) after DAA treatment.

The researchers found that of the total number of 621 patients treated with DAAs for CHC, 77 Classed as hyperferritinemia (12.40%) and 74 were included in the current study. Comparison of pre-treatment and post-treatment iron parameters showed a significant difference, indicating that DAA treatment results in a decrease in overall iron parameters.

Meanwhile, comparison of larger group data from 1194 CHC patients, among whom 553 Classed as high baseline ferritin levels, also showed that those who achieved SVR through DAA therapy4 experienced a significant decrease in ferritin levels compared with those who did not achieve SVR through DAA therapy or interferon-based therapy.

“DAA [therapy] not only eradicates HCV but also plays a role in improving iron metabolism,” the researchers wrote. “Chronic hepatitis C is often accompanied by abnormal serum iron parameters; thus, normalization can improve the overall health status of CHC [patients].”

  1. Ascione, Antonio, Maria Teresa Tartaglione, and Giovan Giuseppe Di Costanzo. “Natural history of chronic hepatitis C virus infection.” Digestive and Liver Disease 39 (2007): S4-S7. ↩︎
  2. Brunt, Elizabeth M., et al. “Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” Nature reviews Disease primers 1.1 (2015): 1-22. ↩︎
  3. Sandnes, Miriam, et al. “Hyperferritinemia—a clinical overview.” Journal of Clinical Medicine 10.9 (2021): 2008. ↩︎
  4. Sarrazin, Christoph. “Treatment failure with DAA therapy: Importance of resistance.” Journal of Hepatology 74.6 (2021): 1472-1482. ↩︎

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