Frequency of Hypothyroidism in Patients with Hepatitis C on Standard Interferon Therapy
Keywords:Hepatitis C virus, Hypothyroidism, Standard interferon therapy
Abstract: Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an emerging public health issue affecting young people in developing countries. It is the common cause of chronic liver disease which if untreated, leads to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and ultimately liver transplantation. HCV infection is conventionally treated with Interferon-? (IFN-?) and anti-viral Ribavirin (RBV). Thyroid dysfunction is frequently encountered in patients having HCV and being treated with IFN-? and antiviral (RBV).
Objective: To find out the incidence of thyroid dysfunction i.e., hypothyroidism in patients of HCV infection being treated with IFN-? and anti-viral (RBV). Material and Methods: 250 patients having HCV infection were enrolled for the study. All patients were treated with 3 million units subcontinually 3 times per week and antiviral (RBV). Thyroid function tests were performed at the start of the treatment to have a baseline thyroid status and at the end of the treatment. Patients were considered to have hypothyroidism when thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was more than 4.0 mIU/L. Results: 47 (18.8%) patients had thyroid dysfunction after 3 months of the therapy. Out of these 47 patients, 36 (76.59%) had hypothyroidism and 11 (23.4%) had hyperthyroidism. It is evident that patients on IFN-? and antiviral therapy for HCV infection developed thyroid dysfunction particularly hypothyroidism that is more in females.