Introduction: Chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection is considered a metabolic disease. It is associated with a specific metabolic syndrome, HCV-associated dysmetabolic syndrome (HCADS), consisting of steatosis, hypocholesterolemia and insulin resistance/diabetes. These metabolic derangements contribute to a decrease in sustained virological response (SVR) to pegylated-interferon-α-ribavirin as standard of care (SOC), and are associated with progression of liver fibrosis. Areas covered: The review, highlighting the impact of HCADS and metabolic syndrome components of HCV disease progression and SOC, discusses current knowledge and perspectives on metabolic therapeutic strategies aimed at improving SVR rate of SOC for chronic hepatitis C. Expert opinion: HCV, features of HCADS and of metabolic syndrome may coexist in the same patient, thus all components of the metabolic syndrome must be assessed to individualize treatment. The results of therapeutic trials evaluating metabolic strategies combined with current SOC indicate that weight loss is a critical part of treatment which will improve both disease outcome and therapeutic response to SOC. Similarly, statins seem to improve response rate to SOC representing, once confirmed to be safe, an important therapeutic tool for HCV-infected patients. Findings from studies using insulin sensitizers combined with SOC are not conclusive and do not justify the use of this class of drugs in clinical practice.
Metabolic alterations and chronic hepatitis C: treatment strategies / Adinolfi, Le; Restivo, L; Zampino, R; Lonardo, A; Loria, Paola. - In: EXPERT OPINION ON PHARMACOTHERAPY. - ISSN 1465-6566. - ELETTRONICO. - 12:(2011), pp. 2215-2234. [10.1517/14656566.2011.597742]