The impact of hepatitis C viremia status on lung functions in chronic hepatitis c patients
Background: Previous trials have investigated the effect of hepatitis C on lung functions; however, the role of viral load levels is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of HCV viremia status on lung functions.
Methods: This study was in 60 patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Patients were classified into three groups (non-viremic, low-viremic and high-viremic) based on serum HCV RNA levels. Spirometric parameters (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC) and the proportion of patients with spirometric abnormalities were compared between three groups.
Results: High-viremic and low-viremic patients showed a significantly higher prevalance of spirometric abnormality than observed in non-viremic patients (p=0.02). Moreover, there was a significant moderate correlation between viremia level and the percentage of spirometric abnormalities (Cramer’s U value=0.452, p=0.002). High-viremic patients were 14.2 times more likely to exhibiting pulmonary dysfunction than non-viremic patients. Additionally, spirometric parameters FEV1 and FVC were significantly reduced in high-viremic and low-viremic patients compared to those in non-viremic patients (p=0.013 and p<0.001
Conclusion: These results indicate that persistent HCV infection may be associated with reduced pulmonary functions, especially in patients with high viremia levels. Therefore, these patients should be carefully monitored for lung function.
Keywords: Chronic hepatitis C infection, viremia, lung function tests.