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The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science

Sadness and mild cognitive impairment as predictors for interferon-alpha-induced depression in patients with hepatitis C.


PMID 25359924

Abstract

Antiviral therapy with interferon-alpha (IFN-α) for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with increased risk for depression. To identify clinical predictors for IFN-α-induced depression during antiviral therapy for HCV infection. Depression (defined with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS)) was evaluated before and during antiviral treatment in 91 people with chronic HCV infection without a history of psychiatric disorders. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Trail Making Test A/B (TMT A/B). (Trial registration at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00136318.) Depression during antiviral therapy was significantly associated with a baseline MADRS score of 3 or higher (P = 0.006). In total, 89% (n = 16) of patients who had a baseline score >0 for the single item sadness developed depression. Poor baseline performance in the TMT A (P = 0.027) and TMT B (P = 0.033) was predictive for severe depression. Pre-treatment screening for subthreshold depressive and cognitive symptoms will help to identify those at risk for IFN-α-associated depression among patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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