Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence and demographic/clinical factors of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) abnormalities at the end of treatment (EOT) in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with sustained virologic response (SVR). Methods and Findings: Seven hundred naïve CHC patients who underwent combination treatment between January 2003 and December 2010 were included in the study. The patients with SVR and serum ALT>upper limit of normal (ULN) at the EOT were further analyzed. The effects of clinical characteristics, treatment regimen, and virologic variables were evaluated by logistic regression. Of the 700 included patients, 488 (69.7%) achieved an SVR after treatment, and 235 (33.6%) had serum ALT levels>ULN at the EOT. Of those 488 patients, 137 (28.1%) had abnormal ALT values at the EOT. A multivariate analysis showed that the occurrence of ALT abnormalities at the EOT was significantly associated with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) alfa-2a (odds ratio [OR], 2.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45-3.45; P<0.001), baseline fatty liver (OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.16-2.76; P = 0.007), and baseline liver cirrhosis (OR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.35-4.09; P = 0.002). Conclusions: Use of PEG-IFN-alfa-2a, fatty liver, and cirrhosis are important factors associated with EOT-ALT abnormality in CHC patients receiving combination therapy that achieve an SVR. PEG-IFN-alfa-2a-related EOT-ALT elevation will become normal at the end of follow-up, but fatty liver and cirrhosis-related ALT elevation will not be resolved.
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