Hepatitis C infection in patients with hereditary bleeding disorders: epidemiology, natural history, and management

Authors Nikolaos Papadopoulos, Vasiliki Argiana, Melanie Deutsch.


Hereditary bleeding disorders include a group of diseases with abnormalities of coagulation. Prior to 1990, infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) was mainly transmitted via pooled plasma products as a treatment for hereditary bleeding disorders. Anti-HCV positivity in these patients may be as high as >70% in some areas, while some of them have also been coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus. Since about 20% of HCV-infected patients clear the infection naturally, chronic HCV infection represents a significant health problem in this group of patients. Mortality due to chronic HCV infection is estimated to be >10 times higher in patients with hemophilia than in the general population, and is mainly due to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The antiviral treatment of HCV in patients with hereditary bleeding disorders is not different from that of any other infected patients. Nevertheless, many patients with hereditary bleeding disorders have declined (Peg)interferon- based treatment because of side effects. In recent years, multiple orally administrated direct- acting antivirals (DAAs) have been approved for HCV treatment. Unfortunately, there is not much experience from treating these patients with DAA regimens, as major studies and real-life data did not include adequate numbers of patients with inherited hemorrhagic disorders. However, the available data indicate that DAAs have an excellent safety profile with a sustained virological response rate of >90%.

Keywords Hepatitis C virus, hereditary bleeding disorders, interferon, ribavirin, direct-acting antivirals

Ann Gastroenterol 2018; 31 (1): 35-41

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