What are the goals of treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection?

Updated: Dec 09, 2020
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The primary goal of therapy for patients infected with hepatitis C (HCV) is viral eradication. Secondary goals of therapy include reduction of symptoms and prevention or delay of progression to cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). [1] The duration of therapy is determined by the HCV genotype. The quantitative HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) level is used to assess response to therapy and as a guide to discontinuation of treatment.

Institution of therapy for hepatitis C is rarely an emergency. Exceptions include cases of fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis after liver transplantation and some cases of severely symptomatic HCV-induced cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. In the latter situation, other treatments (eg, plasmapheresis) may be instituted before contemplating anti-HCV therapy. [1]


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