Presence of Cirrhosis in newly diagnosed Hepatitis C patients without prior history of Chronic Liver Disease.
Cirrhosis once established has no treatment except liver transplantation. It is mostly caused by chronic hepatitis C virus which is very common in our region. As many of these hepatitis C patients are asymptomatic or have non-specific symptoms, so these patients seek medical advice late in the course of their disease. Objectives: To find out the presence of cirrhosis in newly diagnosed hepatitis C patients. Study Design: Descriptive Study. Setting: Hepatitis Clinic, Sheikh Zayed Medical College/Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan. Period: From March to September 2018. Material & Methods: All newly diagnosed hepatitis C patients previously not known to have chronic liver disease were included in the study. Their demographics, symptoms, baseline CBC, LFT, PT, albumin and ultrasound findings were noted. Cirrhosis was diagnosed on the basis of clinical, laboratory and ultrasonography findings. Results: Three hundred and seventy three patients met inclusion criteria. Cirrhosis was present in 64 (17.2 %) patients, 52 patients had Child A and 12 has Child B cirrhosis. No patient had Child C cirrhosis. Mean age of non-cirrhotic patients was 36.74 years and of cirrhotic 47.09 years. There was no significant difference regarding gender distribution between the two groups. Seventy nine (25 %) non-cirrhotic and 11 (17 %) cirrhotic were asymptomatic at presentation and were diagnosed incidentally. Conclusion: About one sixth of newly diagnosed hepatitis C patients already had cirrhosis at presentation.