Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with risk of cardiovascular diseases. Although direct-acting antivirals (DAA) result in rapid eradication of HCV, their long-term impact on arterial stiffness remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate changes in parameters of central arterial stiffness from pretreatment, through sustained virological response, to one year after viral clearance. Patients with chronic HCV receiving DAA treatment were enrolled prospectively. Medical history and comorbidities of all patients were collected. Lipid profiles, liver stiffness by transient elastography and central blood pressures using pulse wave analysis of the brachial artery by cuff sphygmomanometry were measured before treatment, at viral clearance and at one year following viral clearance. Augmentation index (AIx), a parameter of aortic stiffness, was calculated as the ratio of augmentation pressure to central pulse pressure. After DAA treatment, all included patients with chronic HCV (n = 102) had achieved viral clearance. Cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein (TG/HDL) increased significantly at viral clearance and persisted at one year (all P <.001). AIx was also elevated significantly at viral clearance and persisted one year later (P <.001). Changes in AIx remained significant only in patients with increased values from baseline in either LDL (P <.01) or TG/HDL (P <.001). Central arterial stiffness and lipid profiles in patients with chronic HCV worsen immediately after viral eradication by DAA treatment and persist at one year. Worsening of lipid profiles after DAA treatment contributes to central arterial stiffness in this patient population and persists long term.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases