Haematological abnormalities and quality of life in patients with chronic hepatitis C who meet major depression disorder during antiviral therapy

Alterazioni ematologiche e qualitá della vita in pazienti con epatite cronica C che rispettano i criteri del disturbo depressivo maggiore durante terapia antivirale

G. Di Sciascio, S. Calò, M. Nardini

Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences, University Hospital "Policlinico" of Bari



Patients with chronic hepatitis C, during antiviral treatment, develop haematological and psychiatric side effects which negatively affect the health-related quality of life and compliance. The aims of this study were to investigate the correlation between haematological abnormalities, quality of life and antiviral treatment-induced depression.


We enrolled thirty-two patients with chronic hepatitis C who, before starting the antiviral treatment, were without any psychiatric disorder according to DSM-IV criteria. Data on health-related quality of life, depressive symptoms, laboratory values and socio-demographic characteristics were collected. Seven patients developed a Major Depressive Disorder after four weeks of antiviral therapy and started an antidepressant.


All patients showed a significant impairment in health-related quality of life after four weeks of antiviral treatment (Table I). Patients who developed Major Depressive Disorder (G1 group) had more severe depressive symptoms, greater impairment on healthrelated quality of life, and higher haemoglobin levels than non-depressive patients (G2 group) (Table II). After eight weeks of antidepressant treatment, the G1 group showed significant reduction in depressive symptoms and significant improvement in physical functioning (Table V).


Anti-viral therapy is associated with haematological and psychiatric side effects along with diminished quality of life. Antidepressant treatment can reduce depressive and physical symptoms with an improvement in health-related quality of life.

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