Hypertension ups retinopathy risk with HCV treatment

Hypertension ups retinopathy risk with HCV treatment
For patients with hepatitis C virus treated with pegylated interferon alpha and ribavirin, retinopathy occurs frequently, especially in those with hypertension, according to a study published in the August issue of Hepatology.

(HealthDay) -- For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) treated with pegylated interferon alpha (PegIFNα) and ribavirin, retinopathy occurs frequently, especially in those with hypertension, according to a study published in the August issue of Hepatology.

Stela Vujosevic, M.D., from IRCCS in Rome, and colleagues examined the frequency and clinical significance of retinopathy in 97 consecutive HCV patients treated with PegIFNα and ribavirin. Ophthalmologic examination was performed before therapy initiation (baseline), at three and six months (3T and 6T) of therapy, and three months after the end of therapy (3ET).

The researchers found that 55.7 percent of patients were treated with PegIFNα 2a and 44.3 percent were treated with PegIFNα 2b. Retinopathy developed in 30.9 percent of patients. Age, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, cryoglobulinemia, and preexisting intraocular lesions at baseline were significantly associated with retinopathy during treatment. Hypertension was the only variable independently associated with PegIFNα-associated retinopathy on multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 4.99). Retinopathy was significantly more frequent in patients with hypertension versus those without hypertension, at all time points (18.5 versus 5.7 percent at baseline; 48.1 versus 15.7 percent at 3T; 68.0 versus 19.1 percent at 6T; 32.0 versus 6.2 percent at 3ET). Compared with thyroid-stimulating hormone screening, screening for PegIFNα-associated retinopathy was deemed cost-effective.

"Retinopathy is frequent during treatment with PegIFNα and ribavirin, especially in hypertensive patients, who may develop serious complications," the authors write.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hypoferremia predicts treatment response to IFN-α

Mar 01, 2012

(HealthDay) -- For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepcidin, a regulator of iron homeostasis, is induced following a single dose of pegylated interferon-α (PEG-IFNα), and may be a surrogate marker of immediate ...

Recommended for you

What exactly is coronavirus?

5 hours ago

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

5 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.