The newest guidelines for testing, managing, and treating hepatic C infections in adults are part of a “living document” – a constantly updated online resource that reflects the ever-changing world of hepatitis research.
A joint venture of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the document puts cutting-edge science in the hands of clinicians, Dr. Gary L. Davis wrote (Hepatology 2015 June 25 [doi:10.1002/hep.27950]). The continuously updated version may be accessed at any time at www.hcvguidelines.org.
“The pace of hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug development in recent years has accelerated dramatically,” wrote Dr. Davis, cochair for the AASLD/IDSA HCV Guidance writing group. “Such information and advice can be difficult to access readily given the diverse sources from which information is available, and the sometimes lengthy time needed for publication of original articles and scholarly perspectives. Traditional practice guidelines for more established areas of medicine and care often take years to develop and bring to publication. In the new era in hepatitis C treatment, such a process would not be nimble or timely enough to address the needs of patients with HCV infection, practitioners caring for these patients, or payers approving therapies for use.”
The online guidelines “will undergo real-time revisions as the field evolves,” Dr. Davis noted. A panel of 26 hepatologists and infectious diseases specialists and a patient advocate developed the original consensus recommendations.
The new update contains recommendations for direct antiviral drug regimens in treatment-naive patients and for all six HCV genotypes. A second section examines the recommended regimens for patients who have failed treatment with PEG-interferon and ribavirin, with or without a direct antiviral agent.
The document also gives guidance for managing patients with and without a sustained viral response and concludes with a section on treating special patient populations (decompensated cirrhosis, post-transplant HCV infections, renal impairment, and coinfection with HIV).
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