Stefano Gitto, Arrigo F. G. Cicero, Elisabetta Loggi, Marina Giovannini, Fabio Conti, Elena Grandini, Valeria Guarneri, Alessandra Scuteri, Giovanni Vitale, Carmela Cursaro, Claudio Borghi, Pietro Andreone
Introduction. Host lipid metabolism influences viral replication and lifecycle of hepatitis C virus. Our aim was to evaluate changes in glucose and lipid metabolism of patients with chronic hepatitis C after therapy with direct acting antivirals (DAA). Material and methods. We considered patients consecutively treated between January and November 2015 recording clinical data at baseline and week 24 of follow-up. Frozen serum samples were used for apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1), apolipoprotein B (apoB) and lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)]. Wilcoxon test was utilized to estimate trends and Logistic Regression for predictors of lipid changes. Results. We enrolled 100 patients, mostly cirrhotic (81%) and with genotype 1b (59%). Ninety-three patients achieved sustained virological response (SVR), while 7 relapsed. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance declined (from 3 to 2.7, p < 0.001); non-high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol increased from 102 ± 29 to 116 ± 35 (p < 0.001), and Lp(a) from 5.6 ± 6.5 to 9.8 ± 11.5 mg/dL (p < 0.001). Rise of low-density lipoprotein/HDL and apoB/apoA1 ratio were registered (from 1.79 ± 1.10 to 2.08 ± 1.05 and from 0.48 ± 0.18 to 0.53 ± 0.18 mg/dL, p < 0.001). We conducted a subanalysis on patients with relapse. In this subgroup, no change of lipid profile was recorded. At multivariate analysis emerged that the addition of ribavirin to DAA, represented an independent predictor of increased Lp(a) (OR 3.982, 95% CI 1.206-13.144, p = 0.023). Conclusion. DAA therapy led to reduction of insulin resistance. In contrast, pro-atherogenic lipid changes were observed in patients with SVR. Further studies will be necessary to evaluate the cardiovascular balance between amelioration of glucose metabolism and negative changes of lipid profile.
Key words. Hepatitis C virus., Chronic hepatitis C., Antiviral therapy., Lipid metabolism., Glucose metabolism.