Published online Nov 8, 2016. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v8.i31.1318
Peer-review started: May 29, 2016
First decision: July 29, 2016
Revised: August 19, 2016
Accepted: September 8, 2016
Article in press: September 9, 2016
Published online: November 8, 2016
To study impact of baseline mental health disease on hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment; and Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) changes with sofosbuvir- and interferon-based therapy.
This is a retrospective cohort study of participants from 5 studies enrolled from single center trials conducted at the Clinical Research Center of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States. All participants were adults with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection and naïve to HCV therapy. Two of the studies included HCV mono-infected participants only (SPARE, SYNERGY-A), and 3 included human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HCV co-infected participants only (ERADICATE, PFINPK, and ALBIN). Patients were treated for HCV with 3 different regimens: Sofosbuvir and ribavirin in the SPARE trial, ledipasvir and sofosbuvir in SYNERGY-A and ERADICATE trials, and pegylated interferon (IFN) and ribavirin for 48 wk in the PIFNPK and ALBIN trials. Participants with baseline mental health disease (MHD) were identified (defined as either a DSM IV diagnosis of major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder or requiring anti-depressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers or psychotropics prescribed by a psychiatrist). For our first aim, we compared sustained virologic response (SVR) and adherence (pill counts, study visits, and in 25 patients, blood levels of the sofosbuvir metabolite, GS-331007) within each study. For our second aim, only patients with HIV coinfection were evaluated. BDI scores were obtained pre-treatment, during treatment, and post-treatment among participants treated with sofosbuvir-based therapy, and compared to scores from participants treated with interferon-based therapy. Statistical differences for both aims were analyzed by Fisher’s Exact, and t-test with significance defined as a P value less than 0.05.
Baseline characteristics did not differ significantly between all participants with and without MHD groups treated with sofosbuvir-based therapy. Among patients treated with sofosbuvir-based therapy, the percentage of patients with MHD who achieved SVR was the same as those without (SPARE: 60.9% of those MHD compared to 67.6% in those without, P = 0.78; SYNERGY-A: 100% of both groups; ERADICATE: 100% compared to 97.1%). There was no statistically significant difference in pill counts, adherence to study visits between groups, nor mean serum concentrations of GS-331007 for each group at week 2 of treatment (P = 0.72). Among patients with HIV co-infection, pre-treatment BDI scores were similar among patients treated with sofosbuvir, and those treated with interferon (sofosbuvir-based 5.24, IFN-based 6.96; P = 0.14); however, a dichotomous effect on was observed during treatment. Among participants treated with directly acting antiviral (DAA)-based therapy, mean BDI scores decreased from 5.24 (pre-treatment) to 3.28 during treatment (1.96 decrease, P = 0.0034) and 2.82 post-treatment. The decrease in mean score from pre- to post-treatment was statistically significant (-2.42, P = 0.0012). Among participants treated with IFN-based therapy, mean BDI score increased from 6.96 at pre-treatment to 9.19 during treatment (an increase of 2.46 points, P = 0.1), and then decreased back to baseline post-treatment (mean BDI score 6.3, P = 0.54). Overall change in mean BDI scores from pre-treatment to during treatment among participants treated with DAA-based and IFN-therapy was statistically significant (-1.96 and +2.23, respectively; P = 0.0032). This change remained statistically significant when analysis was restricted to participants who achieved SVR (-2.0 and +4.36, respectively; P = 0.0004).
Sofosbuvir-based therapy is safe and well tolerated in patients with MHD. A decline in BDI associated with sofosbuvir-based HCV treatment suggests additional MHD benefits, although the duration of these effects is unknown.
Core tip: The prevalence of mental health disease (MHD) among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be high. However, patients with MHD may be marginalized with respect to HCV therapy and MHD is one of the most frequently cited reason for exclusion from HCV therapy. HCV therapy has evolved from interferon-based to directly acting antiviral (DAA)-based therapy with excellent tolerability and efficacy. Our study found that baseline MHD did not impact efficacy nor treatment adherence to sofosbuvir-based therapy. Furthermore, we found that Becks Depression Inventory scores improved with sofosbuvir-based therapy, suggesting that HCV treatment with the newer DAA therapies may have additional mental health benefits.