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Aminopyrine breath test predicts liver-related events and death in HCV-related cirrhosis on SVR after DAA therapy

  • Authors: Petta S.; Rini F.; Calvaruso V.; Camma C.; Ciminnisi S.; Di Marco V.; Giannini E.G.; Grimaudo S.; Maria Pipitone R.; Craxi A.
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Background & Aims: In patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related advanced cirrhosis, the effects of sustained virological response (SVR) by direct antiviral agents (DAAs) on decompensation and liver deaths are less clearcut, since up to 30% of patients do not improve, and no predictors of outcome have been identified. We used 13C-aminopyrine breath test (ABT) to assess whether its changes can predict liver-related outcomes after DAA treatment in patients with HCV cirrhosis. Methods: Fifty consecutive patients with HCV cirrhosis were enrolled. Patients were included if they had Child A cirrhosis at risk for decompensation – defined as Child A6 (N = 22, 44%) or previous decompensation (N = 7, 14%) – or Child B cirrhosis (N = 21, 42%) eligible for DAA-based antiviral therapy. ABT was performed at baseline and 12 weeks after the end of antiviral therapy. Patients received sofosbuvir-based regimens. Results: Aminopyrine breath test was available for all 50 patients at baseline. The 120’ cumulative dose was directly associated at regression analysis only with albumin levels (P =.001). ABT was available at follow-up week 12 for 41 patients (FUW12), all with SVR, and followed for a median of 25.2 months (range 12.2-32.1 months). Lower Ʌ ABT – defined as changes of 120’ cumulative dose from FUW12 to baseline – (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.94-0.99; P =.02) and FUW12 hepatic encephalopathy (HR 19.0, 95% CI 1.16-310.3; P =.03) were the only independent predictors of liver events/death at multivariate Cox regression analysis. The AUC of Ʌ ABT was good (0.87, 95% CI 0.75-0.97), with a delta ≥0% well discriminating patients at lower vs patients at higher risk of liver-related events/death (P <.001). Conclusions: In patients with advanced HCV cirrhosis who achieve SVR with DAA, Ʌ ABT assists in assessing the residual likelihood of liver-related events and deaths after viral cure.