Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is strongly associated with risks of cardiovascular diseases. The impact of direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy on central blood pressure remains unclear. This investigation evaluates changes in central blood pressure following DAA therapy. One hundred and two DAA-treated patients were prospectively enrolled. Lipid profiles and pulse wave analysis of brachial artery by cuff sphygmomanometry including augmentation index (AIx), a parameter of central artery stiffness, were evaluated. All of the 102 patients achieved sustained virological response (SVR12). Cholesterol and LDL significantly increased following SVR12. Along with lipid changes, significantly higher central diastolic pressure (78.2 ± 14.2 mm Hg at baseline vs. 83.3 ± 13.9 mm Hg at SVR12, p = 0.011) and AIx (33.0 ± 12.7% at baseline vs. 36.9 ± 12.9% at SVR12, p = 0.012) were only observed in the advanced fibrosis patients. Co-morbid diseases, including hypertension (33.4 ± 13.0% vs. 39.7 ± 12.6%, p = 0.003), abnormal waist circumference (33.8 ± 12.2% vs. 38.0 ± 13.2%, p = 0.027), and metabolic syndrome (34.5 ± 12.1% vs. 39.0 ± 11.2%, p = 0.043) were associated with augmented AIx upon SVR12. The augmented central artery stiffness following viral eradication by DAA therapy may raise the concern of short-term cardiovascular risk in CHC patients.
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