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    Thrombocytopenia can rapidly improve in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients receiving direct-acting antiviral agents (DAA). The role of baseline (BL) thrombopoietin (TPO) in this phenomenon is unclear. From June 2016 to February 2019, a total of 104 CHC patients receiving DAA, with a sustained virologic response and BL thrombocytopenia, at Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, were enrolled in this retrospective study. Significant platelet count improvement and platelet count improvement ratio were analyzed for correlation with BL TPO. This cohort included 40 men (38.5%). Seventy-two (69.2%) patients had advanced fibrosis. The platelet count [median (range)] increased from 110.5 (32-149) × 103/µL at BL to 116.5 (40-196) and 118.0 (35-275) × 103/µL at end of treatment (EOT) and 12 weeks after EOT (P12), respectively, (EOT vs. BL, P < 0.001; P12 vs. BL, P < 0.001). BL TPO was positively correlated with significant platelet count improvement (P < 0.001), platelet count improvement ratio at EOT (P = 0.004), and P12 (P < 0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and optimal cutoffs (pg/ml) were 0.77 (95% confidence interval, 0.67-0.86) and 120, respectively, for significant platelet count improvement prediction. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 88.6%, 71.7%, and 78.8%, respectively. BL TPO level might be a useful marker for predicting significant platelet count improvement in thrombocytopenic patients after successful DAA therapy.


    Yen-Chun Chen, Ping-Hung Ko, Chi-Che Lee, Chih-Wei Tseng, Kuo-Chih Tseng. Baseline thrombopoietin level is associated with platelet count improvement in thrombocytopenic chronic hepatitis C patients after successful direct-acting antiviral agent therapy. BMC gastroenterology. 2021 Jan 21;21(1):30

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    PMID: 33478399

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