Hepatitis C Treatment in People Who Inject Drugs (PWIDs): The End of Venous Blood Monitoring?

Author: Tait JM, Stephens BP, Miller MH, Dillon JF

Theme: Clinical Research Year: 2017

With the introduction of interferon free direct acting antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C, it has been reported that haematological and biochemical abnormalities are particularly low in individuals who are on ribavirin free regimens. Routine venepuncture during treatment can be challenging for PWIDs and can be detrimental to engagement in treatment.

The aim of the study was to monitor changes in blood tests during ribavirin free oral treatments provided in our centre. The study was carried out between April 2015 and August 2016.

Two hundred and twenty four patients received hepatitis C treatment and 86 were eligible for the study, 84 (97.6%) completed treatment. 52 (60.4%) were on drug substitution therapy, 51 (59.3%) had Metavir score of F0-1. Treatment regimens included Harvoni 8 weeks (44), Harvoni 12 weeks (20) and Viekirax and Exviera 12 weeks (19).

A student’s T-test was used to compare bloods tests taken pre treatment with the end of treatment bloods. Significance value was set at 0.05. (Table 1). There was no significant reduction in haemoglobin (Hb) and platelets or significant increase in urea, creatinine or bilirubin.
The majority of individual’s blood tests were within our normal range before starting treatment. There were no flares in ALT or GGT.
In this group of patients there were no significant changes to blood tests taken. Routine monitoring of blood parameters particularly in individuals whose bloods tests are within normal range before starting HCV treatment can be abandoned.

Download abstract Download poster