Maribel Rodríguez-Torres, Carlos F. Ríos-Bedoya, Grisell Ortiz-Lasanta, Acisclo M Marxuach-Cuétara, Josselyn Jiménez-Rivera
Background: Thyroid dysfunction (TD) is associated to chronic hepatitis C (HCV) and interferon (IFN) therapy. The prevalence of TD at baseline and during IFN therapy among stages of hepatic fibrosis is unknown. Goals: To examine the frequency of TD at baseline and during Peg-IFN therapy among patients with severe and mild fibrosis. Study: 100 patients were treated with Peg-IFN and divided in 2 groups (50 each), according to liver histology; Metavir 0-2 (mild fibrosis) and Metavir 3-4 (severe fibrosis). Baseline TD was defined as history of TD, or abnormal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) or antiperoxidase thyroid auto-antibodies (TPO -Ab). Frequency of TD during therapy was defined as TD that required treatment. Results: 20% in the severe fibrosis group and 10% in the mild fibrosis group, had TD at baseline. Most of the cases, 31.4% were female as compared to 6.25% males. During therapy, 24% of patients in the severe fibrosis group, compared to 12% in the mild fibrosis, had TD. Most patients had biochemical hypothyroidism, and 66% were female, compared to 33.33 % male. TPO-Ab predicted TD during therapy in 50% of cases while those negative only had 16.6% TD during IFN therapy. Conclusions: Patients with severe fibrosis have more TD events at baseline and during treatment with Peg IFN alfa-2a. Patients with more hepatic fibrosis require careful attention to diagnose and manage TD. More research in the immune mechanisms of hepatic fibrosis progression and autoimmune complications is needed.
Key words. Autoimmune thyroid dysfunction, HCV, fibrosis