Education And Debate

Fortnightly Review: A rational approach to the management of hepatitis C infection

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7027.357 (Published 10 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:357
  1. G M Dusheiko, reader in medicinea,
  2. S Khakoo, research fellowa,
  3. P Soni, South African MRC fellowa,
  4. L Grellier, British Digestive Foundation research fellowa
  1. a University Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London NW3 2QG
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Dusheiko.

    Abstract

    Key messages

    • Summary points

    • The natural course of chronic hepatitis C is not fully defined

    • A range of disease exists—from mild asymptomatic infection with few consequences to serious disease with dire sequelae

    • Pretreatment assessments of viral load and genotype or serotype may help in predicting response

    • It is difficult to indicate the prognosis for younger patients with mild disease; they may need to be considered for treatment, so that the opportunity to avoid later disease is not forfeited

    • It is not yet clear whether patients who are more responsive to interferon have a better prognosis

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