Efficacy and safety of 6-month iron reduction therapy in patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis : a pilot study
Background and Purpose Iron reduction therapy (IRT) has been recognized as beneficial for chronic hepatitis C patients. However, its efficacy for hepatitis C virus-related liver cirrhosis (LC-C) has not been elucidated. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of IRT for LC-C patients. Methods Twenty-two LC-C patients were treated with biweekly phlebotomy and low iron diet for 6 months, in addition to regular hepatoprotective therapy. Nineteen sex- and age-matched patients who refused to receive IRT were used as controls. The efficacy of IRT was evaluated based on biochemical parameters. Results Of 22 patients receiving IRT, 19 completed the 6-month treatment. IRT significantly reduced serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (from 89 to 57 U/L; P = 0.003), alanine aminotransferase (from 101 to 54 U/L; P < 0.001), and alpha-fetoprotein (from 28 to 12 ng/mL; P = 0.003). These changes were not observed in the controls. Two patients whose serum albumin concentrations were less than 3.6 g/dL at the beginning of IRT withdrew from IRT because of a new appearance of ascites. Conclusions IRT improved the serum levels of aminotransferases and alpha-fetoprotein for LC-C patients, and was generally safe; however, IRT should be performed in patients who maintain serum albumin concentrations of more than 3.6 g/dL.
- Journal of gastroenterology
Journal of gastroenterology 42(1), 49-55, 2007-01-01