Gut Liver.  2019 Sep;13(5):549-556. 10.5009/gnl18432.

Comparison of the Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes between Leprosy-Affected Persons in Sorokdo and the General Population Affected by Chronic Hepatitis C in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Sorokdo National Hospital, Goheung, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Sorokdo National Hospital, Goheung, Korea.
  • 3Department of Gastroenterology, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea. estevanj@naver.com, choisk@jnu.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS
Patients with Hansen's disease are the most vulnerable to hepatitis C. However, no data on the treatment efficacy of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) are available in this group. Therefore, we elucidated the prevalence and clinical outcomes of hepatitis C in persons affected by leprosy in Sorokdo, Jeollanam-do, Korea.
METHODS
We retrospectively included 50 leprosy patients with positive hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA test results (group A) hospitalized at the Sorokdo National Hospital from May 2016 to March 2018 and 73 patients with chronic hepatitis C who were treated with DAAs at the Chonnam National University Hospital (group B) from May 2016 to December 2017.
RESULTS
Overall, at the Sorokdo National Hospital, positive HCV antibody and HCV RNA rates were 18.4% and 11.0%, respectively. The mean participant age was 76.5±7 years, and 58% of participants were men. The genotypes were type 1b in 44% (22 out of 50) and type 2 in 56% (28 out of 50). Sustained virologic response was achieved at a rate of 95.5% (21/22) in genotype 1b and 92.9% (26/28) in genotype 2 patients. Ribavirin-induced hemolytic anemia occurred in 57.1% (16/28) of patients with genotype 2. Among these, 28.5% (8/28) received blood transfusions.
CONCLUSIONS
Treatment efficacy was not different between the leprosy-affected population and the general population. However, severe ribavirin-induced hemolytic anemia requiring transfusion was present in 28.5% of genotype 2 patients. Therefore, we suggest ribavirin-free DAAs for the treatment of genotype 2 hepatitis C in leprosy-affected persons in the future.

Keyword

Hepatitis C, chronic; Antiviral agents; Leprosy

MeSH Terms

Anemia, Hemolytic
Antiviral Agents
Blood Transfusion
Genotype
Hepacivirus
Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C, Chronic*
Hepatitis, Chronic*
Humans
Jeollanam-do
Korea*
Leprosy
Male
Prevalence
Retrospective Studies
RNA
Treatment Outcome
Antiviral Agents
RNA
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