Introduction. Currently, interferon alfa and ribavirin are the mainstay of therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C. Recently the pegylation of interferon has allowed a once weekly application, resulting in an increased sustained viral response rate. The analysis of serum HCV dynamics has been shown to be useful in predicting clinical effects and optimizing the treatment regimen. Aim. The aim of the present study was to assess early serum HCV RNA changes in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with peginterferon alfa 2b plus ribavirin. Methods. Male and female patients aged 18 to 65 years with chronic hepatitis C were eligible for the study. All patients received peginterferon alfa 2b 1.5 μg/kg once-weekly for 4 weeks and then peginterferon alfa 2b 0.5 μg/kg once-weekly until the completion of the 48 week trial period, plus ribavirin orally with meals, adjusted to body weight. HCV RNA was determined at base-line, 48 hours, 4 and 12 weeks of therapy. Results. Data were obtained from 20 patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with peginterferon alfa 2b and ribavirin; 16 male, 4 female, with a mean age of 44.4 ± 11.9 years, 16 patients (80%) were infected with HCV genotype 1, the remainder were infected with genotype 2. Mean baseline HCV RNA for the total group was 1,091,405 ± 972,715 IU/mL. Mean reductions in viral load at 48 hours, 4 and 12 weeks for the 20 patients were 1.31 ± 0.91 log, 1.99 ± 1.27 log and 2.31 ± 1.25 log, respectively. A > 2 log reduction in HCV RNA was noticed in 12/20 patients (60%) at 4 weeks (early viral responders), in 9 of them (45%) HCV RNA was undetectable. This response in HCV RNA persisted at 12 weeks of therapy. Early viral responders had a significant reduction in HCV RNA at 48 hours after the initial peginterferon alfa 2b injection (> 1 log reduction). Early viral response was observed in 8/16 patients with HCV genotype 1, and in all genotype 2 patients. Conclusion. Treatment with peginterferon alfa 2b and ribavirin produces significant changes in the early HCV viral dynamics supporting the concept that such changes may be pivotal in achieving a sustained viral response.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Revista de Investigacion Clinica|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2003|
- Chronic hepatitis C.
- Early viral response
- Hepatitis C virus
- Peginterferon alfa 2b
- Serum HCV RNA
ASJC Scopus subject areas