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Optimising management of patients with hepatitis C virus in the age of direct-acting antivirals: results of a Delphi consensus

  • Authors: Di Marco, V; Alberti, A; Angarano, G; Colombo, M; Di Perri, G; Gaeta, G B; Ippolito, G; Mangia, A; Pasqualetti, P; Craxì, A
  • Publication year: 2018
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Objective: To optimize the management of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). Materials and methods: We developed two questionnaires to determine Italian healthcare professionals' opinions on the overall management of HCV chronic liver disease and the use of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in the treatment of HCV. A Delphi consensus method using the RAND/UCLA appropriateness method was used to determine opinions of an expert panel (EP) of specialists. Results: Overall 443 physicians from 167 Italian centres completed the two questionnaires. The EP confirmed the importance of collaboration with general practitioners (GPs) and HCV testing in high-risk groups, but did not agree on treating patients over 80 years of age with DAAs. Over 90% agreed that it was important to quantify HCV-RNA, determine genotype, and test for anti-HIV and HBsAg before starting DAAs. Transient elastography (FibroScan®) was used by >90% to evaluate the stage of liver fibrosis while serum biomarkers were used by <20%. Adherence to therapy, drug-drug interactions and the possibility of treating advanced liver disease were decisive factors in therapy choice. Monthly monitoring during therapy was considered appropriate and 80% were in favor of HCV-RNA testing 24 weeks after the end of the therapy to confirm sustained virological response (SVR). Over 80% agreed that it was necessary to continue follow-up of patients with advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis. Conclusions: Scientific organizations should review their guideline recommendations to facilitate access to DAAs.