Impact of parietal cell autoantibodies and non-organ-specific autoantibodies on the treatment outcome of patients with hepatitis C virus infection: A pilot study
AuthorGatselis, N. K.; Georgiadou, S. P.; Tassopoulos, N.; Zachou, K.; Liaskos, C.; Hatzakis, A.; Dalekos, G. N.
AIM: Various side effects have been reported in patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) who were treated with interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha), including the appearance or exacerbation of underlying autoimmune diseases and the development of a variety of organ and non-organ specific autoantibodies (NOSA). However, very few studies in adults have been strictly designed to address: whether the prevalence and the titre of organ and NOSA in serial samples of HCV-treated patients were affected by IFN-alpha, and the impact of these autoantibodies on the treatment outcome of HCV patients. METHODS: We investigated whether parietal cell autoantibodies (PCA) and/or NOSA were related with treatment-outcome in 57 HCV-treated patients (19 sustained-responders, 16 relapsers, 22 non-responders). Serum samples from patients were studied blindly at three time-points (entry, end of treatment and end of followup). For the detection of autoantibodies we used indirect immunofluorescence, commercial and in-house ELISAs. RESULTS: Sustained biochemical response was associated with ANA-negativity at the entry or end of follow up. Sustained virological response was associated with the absence of PCA at the entry. Combined virological and biochemical sustained response (CVBSR) was associated with the absence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) at the end of follow up and PCA-negativity at the entry. Sustained virological and CVBSR were associated with a reduction of ANA and SMA titers during therapy. CONCLUSION: Although PCA and/or NOSA seropositivity should not affect the decision to treat HCV patients, the presence of some of them such as ANA, PCA and SMA before treatment or their increase during therapy with IFN-alpha may predict a worse response, indicating the need for a closer monitoring during treatment of HCV patients positive for these autoantibodies. (C) 2005 The WJG Press and Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.