The grading and staging of hepatitis, based on a liver biopsy results, is helpful in treating patients with chronic HCV infection. The degrees of inflammation, necrosis, and fibrosis can be assessed, and other causes of liver disease can be excluded. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Panel recommends that therapy for HCV infection be limited to those patients who have histological evidence of progressive disease. Thus, all patients with fibrosis or moderate to severe degrees of inflammation and necrosis on liver biopsy should be treated. Patient selection should not be based on the presence or absence of symptoms, the mode of acquisition, the genotype of HCV RNA, or serum HCV RNA levels.1,2
- Liver biopsy results.
1. Chronic hepatitis C: current disease management. Bethesda (MD): National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse; 2002. NIH Publication No. 02-4230. Available at http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/pubs/chrnhepc/chrnhepc.htm. Accessed 2 Dec 2002.
2. Management of hepatitis C: 2002. National Institutes of Health Consensus
Development Conference Statement; 2002 Jun 10-12; Bethesda, MD. Available at http://consensus.nih.gov/cons/116/116cdc_intro.htm. Accessed 2 Dec 2002.
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