A controlled trial of human lymphoblastoid interferon in chronic hepatitis B in Italy
Article first published online: 6 DEC 2005
Copyright © 1989 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 336–341, September 1989
How to Cite
Saracco, G., Mazzella, G., Rosina, F., Cancellieri, C., Lattore, V., Raise, E., Rocca, G., Giorda, L., Verme, G., Gasbarrini, G., Barbara, L., Bonino, F., Rizzetto, M. and Roda, E. (1989), A controlled trial of human lymphoblastoid interferon in chronic hepatitis B in Italy. Hepatology, 10: 336–341. doi: 10.1002/hep.1840100315
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 FEB 1989
- Manuscript Received: 14 APR 1988
Sixty-four heterosexual Italian carriers of HBsAg with chronic HBeAg and hepatitis B virus DNA-positive hepatitis were assigned randomly either to receive human lymphoblastoid interferon (injections of 5 million units per m2 three times per week for 6 months) or to serve as untreated controls. After 18 months of followup evaluation, 26 of the 33 treated patients (79%) had cleared hepatitis B virus DNA, 23 (70%) had lost HBeAg and 20 (61%) had seroconverted to anti-HBe. Fifteen of the 31 controls (48%) had cleared hepatitis B virus DNA (p = 0.01), 12 (39%) had lost HBeAg and nine (29%) had seroconverted to anti-HBe (p = 0.002). Eight treated patients but only one control had lost HBsAg and seroconverted to anti-HBs (24% vs. 3%, p = 0.01). Treated patients cleared hepatitis B virus markers after a mean interval of 4 months, compared with 8 months in the controls.
All responders to interferon cleared intrahepatic HBcAg, and 50% showed histological improvement. The baseline hepatitis B virus DNA levels and the original histology were not predictive of a response to therapy; women appeared to respond better than men. Lymphoblastoid interferon provides an effective therapy in the heterosexual Italian patient with chronic hepatitis B.