Quality of life, depression, and cytokine patterns in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with antiviral therapy

Falasca, Katia; Mancino, Paola; Ucciferri, Claudio; Dalessandro, Margherita; Manzoli, Lamberto; Pizzigallo, Eligio; Conti, Chiara M.; Vecchiet, Jacopo
June 2009
Clinical & Investigative Medicine;Jun2009, Vol. 32 Issue 3, pE212
Academic Journal
Purpose: To evaluate the effect of chronic hepatitis C and antiviral therapy on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), depression symptoms and cytokine patterns. Methods: Twenty HCV+ patients treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin were enrolled in this cohort study and invited to complete SF-12 and BDI questionnaires prior to (T0) and at the end of the treatment (T1). HCV-RNA, serum levels of ALT, AST, haemoglobin, ferritin and IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 were evaluated at T0 and T1. The questionnaire results were correlated to biochemical and cytokine parameters. Results: Two patients (1%) dropped out and 18 HCV patients composed the final sample (11 males (61.1%); mean age 42.5±11.9 yr; mean disease duration 9.7±6.9 yr). Between T0 and T1 ALT (p=0.02), AST (p=0.052) HCVRNA (P=0.0002) and haemoglobin levels decreased (p=0.0003), whereas ferritin level increased (P=0.003). Also, at T1 all cytokine levels were augmented. Regarding depression status, at T0 10 patients (55.5%) scored above to the BDI questionnaire (suggesting clinically significant depression), whereas at T1 14 patients scored 10 or above (77.7%). At T1 the mean BDI score increased, but this difference was not significant. Regarding HRQoL, the majority of patients had T0 summary scores ≤ 50. At T1 HRQoL changed and scores decreased in 66.7% of the patients. A correlation was observed between the T0 level of ferritin and the amount of change in BDI and SF-12 mental score between T0 and T1 (Spearman rho = -0.56 and +0.61, respectively) and IL-4 level at T0 and the change in BDI and SF-12 mental scores (Spearman rho = -0.49 and +0.45, respectively). Conclusion: BDI, SF-12, IL-4 and ferritin are good tools to predict the appearance of depressive symptoms and worsening of the quality of life in the HCV+ population.


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