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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2018

Evaluation of cardiac function by global longitudinal strain before and after treatment with sofosbuvir-based regimens in HCV infected patients

BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2018
Maria Mazzitelli, Carlo Torti, Jolanda Sabatino, Greta Luana D’Ascoli, Chiara Costa, Vincenzo Pisani, Elena Raffetti, Salvatore De Rosa, Alessio Strazzulla, Alfredo Focà, Maria Carla Liberto, Ciro Indolfi, the CARDIAC study group
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12879-018-3426-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Maria Mazzitelli and Carlo Torti contributed equally to this work.



Possible cardiotoxicity of sofosbuvir in humans has not been demonstrated yet. Also, since HCV can exert deleterious effects on hearth function, it is of interest to know whether HCV eradication provides any benefits using global longitudinal strain (GLS), a measure of left ventricular function more reliable than ejection fraction (EF).


Patients eligible for treatment with the combination therapy for HCV were invited to perform a transthoracic cardiac ultrasound at four different time points: before starting treatment, after one month, at the end of treatment and, after six month. Left ventricular function was measured with both EF and GLS.


From March 2015 to December 2016, 82 patients were enrolled. Fifty-six percent patients were males. Mean age was 66.12 (SD: 9.25) years. About 20% patients did not present any cardiovascular risk factors or comorbidities. A worsening trend of GLS was observed. Variations were not found to be statistically significant when EF was studied along the follow-up. However, when GLS was studied, its variations were found to be statistically significant indicating a worsening effect, albeit with different trends in patients who underwent treatment for three months compared to six months. Worsening of GLS was found to be statistically significant even after adjusting for body mass index and liver fibrosis, independently from treatment duration.


Our results showed unexpected worsening of left ventricular function when measured through GLS after HCV treatment response induced by DAAs including sofosbuvir. Although this result is not proven to be clinically significant, the safety profile of sofosbuvir-based regimens needs to be studied further.
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