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

Liberia opens one of largest Ebola treatment centers

7 minutes ago

Liberia's president opened one of the country's largest Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia on Friday, remembering the days when "the dying, the sick, the dead who could not picked up on time" as officials ...

WHO issues new guidance on Ebola protective gear

3 hours ago

The U.N. health agency is updating its guidelines for health workers dealing with the deadly Ebola virus, recommending tougher measures such as doubling up on gloves and making sure the mouth, nose and eyes ...

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.