Individuals with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis who are cured of hepatitis C virus (HCV) often see their liver damage reduced.

Looking at medical records from 100 people with such advanced liver damage, researchers found that, post-cure, 69 percent of those with advanced fibrosis at the outset improved by at least one stage of fibrosis. (There are five stages of fibrosis, the last of which means cirrhosis.) Fifty-five percent of those who began treatment with cirrhosis regressed to advanced fibrosis or lower.

The median time before the participants experienced improvement was 2.5 years for those who began with advanced fibrosis and three years for those with cirrhosis.

According to the study’s lead author, Ana Maria Crissien, MD, a hepatologist at Scripps Clinic and Green Hospital in La Jolla, California, this improvement in liver health “leads to decreased complications associated with end-stage liver disease.”