The commonly held view is that if Hepatitis C has progressed to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), even if we successfully treat and clear the Hepatitis C, the cirrhosis remains, and the individual is still at risk for complications of cirrhosis. These complications include liver failure and liver cancer. But this may not be the case.
In a study from Ireland presented at Digestive Disease Week 2018, 39 patients with cirrhosis were treated successfully for their Hepatitis C. They were then followed with serial liver elastography (a non- invasive way to evaluate the liver) tests. 60% showed marked lessening of the cirrhosis, to the point where the label ”cirrhosis” no longer applied. 40% remained cirrhotic. So, treatment of even late stage Hepatitis C can be associated with impressive clinical improvement. Also, the fact that 40% remained cirrhotic strengthens the argument for treating Hepatitis C early in its course, before cirrhosis develops.