The impact of COVID-19 on the cascade of care of HCV in the US and China

Yee Hui Yeo, Xu Gao, Jian Wang, Qingyu Li, Xingyang Su, Yu Geng, Rui Huang, Chao Wu, Fanpu Ji, Vinay Sundaram, Mazen Noureddin, Maria Buti, Walid S. Ayoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic imperiled the global health system. We aimed to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the care continuum of HCV-infected patients. Material and Methods: Two hundred and fifty-six patients who were prescribed a course of DAA therapy at three tertiary medical centers in the US and China between January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 were included. We assessed the proportions of patients who completed DAA therapy and had HCV RNA testing during and after the end of therapy. We also assessed the impact of utilization of telemedicine. Results: The proportion of patients undergoing HCV RNA testing during DAA treatment decreased from >81.7% before pandemic to 67.8% during the pandemic (P=0.006), with a more prominent decrease in the US. There were significant decreases in HCV RNA testing >12 (P<0.001) and >20 weeks (P<0.001) post-treatment during COVID-19 era. Compared to pre-COVID period, post-treatment clinic encounters during COVID-19 era decreased significantly in China (Xi'an: 13.6% to 7.4%; Nanjing: 16.7% to 12.5%) but increased in the US (12.5% to 16.7%), mainly due to the use of telemedicine. There was a 4-fold increase in utilization of telemedicine in the US. Conclusions: COVID-19 pandemic carried profound impact on care for HCV patients in both the US and China. HCV cure rate assessment decreased by half during COVID era but the proportion of patients finishing DAA therapy was not significantly affected. Increased utilization of telemedicine led to increased compliance with DAA therapy but did not encourage patients to have their laboratory assessment for HCV cure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100685
JournalAnnals of Hepatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Direct-acting antivirals
  • HCV care continuum
  • Telemedicine
  • Viral hepatitis elimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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