Chronic Hepatitis C in Saudi Arabia: Three Years Local Experience in a University Hospital


Hisham O Akbar 1 , * , Ahmad Al Ghamdi 2 , Faten Qattan 2 , Hind I Fallatah 1 , Maha Al Rumani 2

1 Department of Internal Medicine, King Abdul Aziz University Hospital, [email protected], Saudi Arabia

2 Molecular Biology Department, King Abdul Aziz University Hospital, Saudi Arabia

How to Cite: Akbar H, Al Ghamdi A, Qattan F, Fallatah H, Al Rumani M. Chronic Hepatitis C in Saudi Arabia: Three Years Local Experience in a University Hospital, Hepat Mon. Online ahead of Print ; 12(9):6178. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.6178.


Hepatitis Monthly: 12 (9); 6178
Published Online: September 30, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: May 23, 2012
Accepted: July 28, 2012


Background: Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is a global infection. In Saudi Arabia, the prevalence of CHC is declining due to the implementation of a blood screening program. However, CHC still remains a leading cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Objectives: This is a retrospective study of CHC patients at the King Abdul Aziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Patients and Methods: Out of a total of 291 CHC patients from the hepatology clinic at King Abdul Aziz University hospital, Jeddah, 279 patients were included in the present study. They were primarily male (152, 54.5%), with a mean age of 50.41 1.72 years. The majority of patients were either Saudi (108, 38.7%) or Egyptian (60, 21.5%). A total of 61 patients received combination treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, and one patient with sickle-cell anemia received pegylated INF monotherapy. Demographic, clinical and laboratory features of the CHC patients, and their responses to treatment were studied.

Results: Decompensated cirrhosis was documented in 60 patients (21.5%), and hepatocellular carcinoma in 14 (5%). The mean level of serum alanine aminotransferase was 83.6 231 u/L. The predominant genotype among the 70 patients tested, was genotype 4, followed by genotype 1 (39 and 18 patients, respectively). The sustained viral response (SVR) rate was 82.99%. The main predictive factors for SVR were baseline HCV viral load and rapid virologic response (RVR). The mean duration of follow-up was 4.2 .85 years. There were 24 patients who had liver disease-related mortality.

Conclusions: our data showed that 22% of CHC patients progress to cirrhosis and another 22% had treatment. Liver related mortality was more common in patients with advanced cirrhosis.

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