Is liver fibrosis in association with opium addiction and intravenous drug abuse among hepatitis C virus-infected patients?
Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a prevalent etiology that leads to cirrhosis. Various factors affect liver fibrosis progression. In the current study, we aimed to assess the probable role of opium consumption and intravenous drug abuse(IVDU) on liver inflammation and fibrosis.
Methods: This is a case-control study conducted on 58 patients with hepatitis C virus infection in 2012. Anti-HCV antibody and quantitative HCV-RNA burden were performed for all patients. Then, they underwent a liver biopsy for the determination of inflammation grading and liver fibrosis based on the Hepatic Activity Index(HAI). Regarding inflammation grade, patients were divided into two groups of 0-4 grade as controls and 5-18 as cases. Considering the fibrosis score, patients were divided into two groups of 0-2 score as controls and 3-6 score as cases.
Results: This study was conducted on HCV positive patients; among them, 74.1% were smokers, and 53.4% were opium addicts. Regarding liver inflammation grading, 52.2% of cases and 25.7% of controls were IVDU and 65.2% versus 45.7% were opium addict (P-value=0.04 and 0.145, respectively). On the other hand, regarding fibrosis score, 60% of cases versus 50% of controls were opium addicts, while 30% of cases versus 39% of controls were IVDUs (P-value>0.05).
Conclusion: Contrary to the previous studies, we found no association between opium addiction with either liver inflammation or fibrosis. Based on this study, IVDU was only associated with liver inflammation, but liver fibrosis.
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