Does CHC affect more than just the liver?
Dr. Shanthi Vijayaraghavan
Porur, Bengaluru Mar 19, 2019
Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious viral infection which leads to inflammation of the liver. It spreads by contact with the contaminated blood and often shows no symptoms in the early stage. Thus, due to delayed diagnosis and treatment, it often results in complications like cirrhosis which in turn affects parts other than the liver.
Complications due to CHC:
CHC infection causes lacs of deaths every year, mostly due to the complications caused by CHC infection. In about 80% of people, acute hepatitis infections develop into CHC, and in over 90% of such people it ends in complications like:
- Swelling in the legs and abdomen (ascites) which can lead to a serious bacterial infection.
- Enlargement of spleen leading to a lower WBC count.
- Greater sensitivity to drugs as the liver can not filter it out from the blood.
- Enlarged blood vessels in the stomach which can burst and lead to internal bleeding.
- Difficulty in fighting infections.
- Buildup of insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes.
- Kidney failure.
- Complications resulting in lung failure.
- Buildup of toxins in the brain.
- Liver cancer.
Thus, it is clear that in advanced stages, the effects of CHC extend to the entire body and are not limited to just the liver. The condition can be successfully managed to a certain extent if diagnosed early. Some complications like cancer can spread to other parts of the body and have fatal outcomes. Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are a class of drugs most commonly used to treat Hepatitis C infection. However, the exact treatment method depends on the condition of the individual and the genotype of the hepatitis C virus.
*Disclaimer : The information provided in this content is for Health Care Providers