Researchers have developed a predictive score that quantifies the potential benefits of direct-acting antiviral therapy for patients with hepatitis C and decompensated cirrhosis, according to recently published data. Five factors – BMI, hepatic encephalopathy, ascites, serum albumin and alanine aminotransferase levels – contribute to the novel BE3A score.

“There are certain hepatitis C medications that you cannot use in patients with decompensation because they are predominantly cleared by the liver; they’re hepatically metabolized and have been associated with the worsening of decompensated cirrhosis,” Michael P. Curry, MD, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “Getting rid of the virus in a patient with liver failure is only one component of treating their disease. Getting rid of the virus doesn’t necessarily mean that that patient’s liver failure is going to improve.”

“The importance of this score is, if you’re sitting in front of a patient and you’re determining whether you should put the patient on the transplant list or get them hepatitis C treatment, you can take their baseline characteristics, plug them into the calculator and you can give them a sense of what is their likelihood that their liver function will improve,” Curry said.

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