Background: Chronic ethyl alcohol consuming is well known independent negative
predictor of unfavorable natural course and therapy outcome of Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) infection.
Objective: The aim of the present study was to clarify the impact of alcohol consumption on fibrosis
rate progression in patients with CHC and Sustained Virologic Response (SVR) rates in patients
undergoing treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.
Method: This cross sectional retrospective study included 807 CHC patients underwent liver biopsy and hospitalized at
Clinical center of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia. According to the alcohol consumption equal or greater than 50 g/day prior
to liver biopsy, patients were divided into two groups. We compared demographic, clinical, virologic and
histopathological markers of CHC, as well as response to antiviral therapy.
Results: We find statistically significant difference (p=0.001) in gender, but not in age (p=0.081), estimated duration of
the CHC (p=0.470) and hepatitis C genotype (p=0.545) between two groups. Among patients with CHC who consume
alcohol ≥50 g/day there were significantly higher incidence of intravenous drug users (p=0.000). Binary logistic
regression showed that the only independent predictors of moderate to severe fibrosis (fibrosis ≥2) were age (p=0.000)
and alcohol use (p=0.027). There was not statistically significant difference in SVR rate between two groups (p=0.810).
Conclusion: We believe that this good result in treatment outcome was the consequence of proper selection of patients
based primarily on regulations of Republic of Serbia on the necessity of abstinence from the use of alcohol and
psychoactive substances at least one year before starting antiviral therapy.