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P.027 Aortic Stiffness is Increased in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Seropositivity



Recent data suggest that chronic systemic inflammation impairs vascular function and plays a critical role in cardiovascular disease. Aortic stiffness and wave reflections are independent markers and prognosticators of cardiovascular risk. The present study was undertaken to assess whether chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects aortic stiffness and wave reflections.


We determined aortic stiffness and wave reflections in 26 consecutive patients (mean age: 49±16 yrs, 9M/17F) positive for HCV infection and 14 patients (mean age: 52±11 yrs, 9M/5F) with HBV infection, who had never been treated with interferon. 40 healthy individuals were recruited to compare each of the two subgroups and they were matched for age, gender, body-mass index and risk factors. Aortic stiffness was evaluated with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and wave reflections with augmentation index (AIx) of the aortic pressure waveform.


Patients with HCV infection had higher carotid-femoral PWV than controls, indicating increased aortic stiffness (7.5±1.3 vs. 6.7±1.3 m/s, P < 0.05), while AIx did not differ (25±15 vs. 27±15%, P=NS). Carotid-femoral PWV and AIx in the subjects with HBV infection were similar to those in the control subjects. There were not differences as regard systolic, diastolic pressures and heart rate between patients with hepatitis and controls.


Patients with HCV have impaired aortic elastic properties, whereas HBV does not influence aortic stiffness. These findings are important to further characterize the increase of cardiovascular risk in patients with hepatitis C virus seropositivity.

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Baou, K., Vlachopoulos, C., Manesis, E. et al. P.027 Aortic Stiffness is Increased in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Seropositivity. Artery Res 1 (Suppl 1), S34 (2006).

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