Background & Objectives: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype has emerged as an independent factor for disease progression, and it also influences the duration and response to anti-viral therapy. HCV genotypic distribution varies geographically. This retrospective analysis was performed to study the genotypic distribution of chronic hepatitis C and its effect on disease presentation in northern Indian population.
Material and Methods: All treatment eligible patients with HCV infection presenting to the gastroenterology outpatient department at our institute between January 2004 and December 2013 were enrolled.
Results: A total of 1202 patients with hepatitis C virus infection were included. The mean age of patients was 41.5 ±11.8 years and 70% were males. The mean ALTlevel was 106.4 ± 85.4 IU/Land high viral load was present in 50.7%. Evidence of cirrhosis was present in 22.5%. The most common genotype was genotype 3 (80.1%), followed by genotype 1 (15.4%), genotype 4 (1.4%) and genotype 2 (0.5%). All the clinical and biochemical characteristics in genotype 1 and 3 patients were similar except that a significantly higher proportion of patients with genotype 1 had a high viral load. The percentage of cirrhotic patients among genotype 1 was 25.9% as compared to 22.2% among genotype 3.
Interpretation & Conclusion: Genotype 3 is the most prevalent genotype in the HCV infected patients in northern India, followed by genotype 1. There was no significant difference in disease presentation among genotype 1 and 3 patients.
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