Table of Contents
Hepatitis Research and Treatment
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 910519, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Measuring the Response of Extrahepatic Symptoms and Quality of Life to Antiviral Treatment in Patients with Hepatitis C

1Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton BN1 9PX, UK
2Medicine, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton BN2 5BE, UK

Received 14 June 2013; Revised 17 September 2013; Accepted 18 September 2013

Academic Editor: Alessandro Antonelli

Copyright © 2013 David Isaacs et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. HCV infection is associated with musculoskeletal manifestations such as chronic widespread pain, sicca syndrome, polyarthritis, and a reduced HRQOL. Little data is available on the effect of treatment on these manifestations. This study measured changes in extrahepatic symptoms and HRQOL before and after antiviral treatment in a large UK patient cohort. Methods. 118 patients completed HQLQ and rheumatological questionnaires before and after treatment with pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin, with specific regard to chronic widespread pain, sicca syndrome, and sustained virological response. Results. There was significant improvement in HQLQ domains of physical functioning, physical disability, social functioning, limitations and health distress due to hepatitis, and general health. There was significant deterioration in domains of positive well-being, health distress, and mental health. There was a significant decline prevalence of CWP (26.3% versus 15.3%, ). Sicca syndrome prevalence fell insignificantly (12.7% versus 11%). SVR was associated positively with all HRQOL changes and significantly with CWP remission. Conclusions. HCV antivirals significantly improve poor HRQOL scores and CWP. Before treatment, both were common, coassociated, and unaccounted for through mixed cryoglobulinemia alone. Although a role of the hepatitis C virus in CWP cannot be deduced by these results, symptomatic improvement via antiviral treatment exists for this subset of patients.