<p><b>BACKGROUND & AIMS: </b>HDV infection causes severe chronic liver disease in individuals infected with HBV. However, the factors associated with poor prognosis are largely unknown. Thus, we aimed to identify prognostic factors in patients with HDV infection.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>The French National Reference Centre for HDV performed a nationwide retrospective study on 1,112 HDV-infected patients, collecting epidemiological, clinical, virological and histological data from the initial referral to the last recorded follow-up.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>The median age of our cohort was 36.5 (29.9-43.2) years and 68.6% of our cohort were male. Most patients whose birthplace was known were immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa (52.5%), southern and eastern Europe (21.3%), northern Africa and the Middle East (6.2%), Asia (5.9%) and South America (0.3%). Only 150 patients (13.8%) were French native. HDV load was positive in 659 of 748 tested patients (88.1%). HDV-1 was predominant (75.9%), followed by sub-Saharan genotypes: HDV-5 (17.6%), HDV-7 (2.9%), HDV-6 (1.8%) and HDV-8 (1.6%). At referral, 312 patients (28.2%) had cirrhosis, half having experienced at least 1 episode of hepatic decompensation. Cirrhosis was significantly less frequent in African than in European patients regardless of HDV genotype. At the end of follow-up (median 3.0 [0.8-7.2] years), 48.8% of the patients had developed cirrhosis, 24.2% had ≥1 episode(s) of decompensation and 9.2% had hepatocellular carcinoma. European HDV-1 and African HDV-5 patients were more at risk of developing cirrhosis. Persistent replicative HDV infection was associated with decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma and death. African patients displayed better response to interferon therapy than non-African patients (46.4% vs. 29.1%, p <0.001). HDV viral load at baseline was significantly lower in responders than in non-responders.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>Place of birth, HDV genotype and persistent viremia constitute the main determinants of liver involvement and response to treatment in chronic HDV-infected patients.</p><p><b>LAY SUMMARY: </b>Chronic liver infection by hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the most severe form of chronic viral hepatitis. Despite the fact that at least 15-20 million people are chronically infected by HDV worldwide, factors determining the severity of liver involvement are largely unknown. By investigating a large cohort of 1,112 HDV-infected patients followed-up in France, but coming from different areas of the world, we were able to determine that HDV genotype, place of birth (reflecting both viral and host-related factors) and persistent viremia constitute the main determinants of liver involvement and response to treatment.</p>
Origin, HDV genotype and persistent viremia determine outcome and treatment response in patients with chronic hepatitis delta.
J Hepatol. 2020;73(5):1046-1062.
MeSH terms: Adult; Carcinoma, Hepatocellular; Female; France; Hepatitis D, Chronic; Hepatitis Delta Virus; Humans; Interferons; Liver Cirrhosis; Liver Neoplasms; Male; Residence Characteristics; Retrospective Studies; Severity of Illness Index; Viral Load; Viremia