Interferon-α in combination with ribavirin is the current gold standard for treatment of chronic hepatitis C. It is unknown if the development of autoimmune thyroid disease (TD) during treatment confers an improved chance of achieving sustained virologic response. The aim of this study is to assess the chance of achieving sustained virologic response (SVR) in patients who developed TD during treatment when compared with those who did not.
We performed a tertiary hospital-based retrospective nested case-control analysis of 19 patients treated for hepatitis C who developed thyroid disease, and 76 controls (matched for age, weight, gender, cirrhosis and aminotransferase levels) who did not develop TD during treatment. Multivariate logistic-regression models were used to compare cases and controls.
The development of TD was associated with a high likelihood of achieving SVR (odds ratio, 6.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 24.6) for the pooled group containing all genotypes. The likelihood of achieving SVR was increased in individuals with genotype 1 HCV infection who developed TD (odds ratio, 5.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 22.3), and all genotype 3 patients who developed TD achieved SVR.
Development of TD during treatment for hepatitis C infection is associated with a significantly increased chance of achieving SVR. The pathophysiogical mechanisms for this observation remain to be determined.
The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRB12610000830099