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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 10

J Clin Med



Direct-Acting Antiviral Drugs Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C.


Tang K-T, Lin C-C, Chen Y-H, Liao T-L, Chen D-Y, Yang S-S, Chen C-C
J Clin Med. 2022 Sep 10; 11(18).
PMID: 36142974.


Background Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and significant patient burden. Patients with chronic hepatitis C are reportedly predisposed to the development of FM. Direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAA) achieved a remarkable therapeutic efficacy in CHC patients. We therefore investigated the impact of DAA on FM symptoms in CHC patients. Methods We enrolled consecutive CHC patients who received DAA. FM symptoms were evaluated based on the 2016 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) fibromyalgia scale at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks after cessation of DAA therapy. Logistic regression was performed to determine the influence of HCV on FM at baseline. We also recruited individuals who underwent a health checkup examination as the control group, and calculated the standardized prevalence ratio of FM in CHC patients. Comparisons of fibromyalgia in different time points were undertaken using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results A total of 33 CHC patients (15 males and 18 females) and 402 controls were recruited. All CHC patients achieved sustained virological response. Two (6%) patients and two (0.5%) controls fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for FM, and the standardized prevalence ratio was 23.9 in CHC patients. Logistic regression also showed increased odds for FM in CHC patients after adjusting for age and sex (OR: 14.4; 95%CI: 1.6, 128.0). In addition, their fibromyalgianess scale decreased at 12 and 24 weeks after DAA therapy. In conclusion, CHC patients were more likely to develop FM. Implementation of DAA therapy might improve FM symptoms in these patients.