Improved response to ribavirin interferon combination compared with interferon alone in patients with type 4 chronic hepatitis C without cirrhosis

Authors


Professor Abraham Koshy, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Bern, 35, Murtenstrasse, 3010 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract

Abstract: Response to treatment with alpha interferon with or without concomitant ribavirin varies according to the viral genotype in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Aim: This study was undertaken in order to determine the response of genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C to interferon and ribavirin combination compared to interferon alone in patients without cirrhosis. Methods: Fifty-two patients were given interferon alone at a dose of 5 million units, 3 times a week and another 60 patients were administered with interferon combined with ribavarin (1000–1200 mg/day) for 24 weeks. Sustained biochemical response was defined as normal ALT, 6 months after end of therapy. Sustained virologic response was defined as negative HCV RNA, 6 months after the end of therapy. Results: Only 10/52 (19%) patients showed sustained biochemical response after interferon alone, while 31/60 (52%) showed sustained biochemical response after interferon combined with ribavirin (p<0.01). Only 4/52 (8%) patients showed sustained virologic response after interferon alone, while 25/60 (42%) showed sustained virologic response after interferon combined with ribavirin (p<0.001). Conclusion: These results show that patients with chronic hepatitis due to hepatitis C virus type 4 show a poor response to interferon alone but a better response to interferon combined with ribavirin.

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