Subclinical impairment of brain function in chronic hepatitis C infection.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND/AIMS:Central nervous system abnormalities such as fatigue and depression occur more frequently in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection than in many other causes of chronic liver disease. The finding that fatigue is unrelated to activity of hepatitis or mode of infection could indicate an independent effect of HCV on brain function. This study tested the hypothesis of a subclinical cognitive dysfunction in HCV-infected patients. METHODS:One-hundred untreated HCV-RNA positive biopsy-proven patients were investigated by P300 event-related potentials, a sensitive electrophysiologic test of cognitive processing. Health-related quality of life and fatigue were assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire and the Fatigue Impact Scale, respectively. RESULTS:Cognitive brain function was subclinically impaired in the cohort of HCV-infected patients as indicated by significantly prolonged P300 latencies (P=0.01 for comparison to matched healthy subjects) and reduced P300 amplitudes (P<0.001, respectively). Seventeen of the 100 HCV-infected patients had P300 latencies outside the age-adjusted normal range. Abnormal P300 characteristics were not related to the degree of histologic or biochemical activity of hepatitis, severity of fatigue or mental health impairment. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates that patients with HCV infection showed a slight but significant neurocognitive impairment, possibly indicating a further extrahepatic manifestation of chronic hepatitis C.

journal_name

J Hepatol

journal_title

Journal of hepatology

authors

Kramer L,Bauer E,Funk G,Hofer H,Jessner W,Steindl-Munda P,Wrba F,Madl C,Gangl A,Ferenci P

doi

10.1016/s0168-8278(02)00172-1

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2002-09-01 00:00:00

pages

349-54

issue

3

eissn

0168-8278

issn

1600-0641

pii

S0168827802001721

journal_volume

37

pub_type

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