Pegylated versus standard interferon plus ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C genotype 4: A systematic review and meta-analysis
- Financial support: None.
- Conflict of interest: None.
Treatment of hepatitis C genotype 4 (HCV-G4) with pegylated interferon (PEG IFN) has not been adequately studied and is considered to be challenging. The aim of this meta-analysis is to systematically review and evaluate the effectiveness of 48 weeks of combined PEG IFN plus ribavirin (RBV) compared to standard interferon (IFN) plus RBV. The outcome of interest is sustained virological response (SVR).
We searched for eligible randomized controlled trials (RCT) through May 2012. Random effects meta-analysis was used to pool the risk ratio (RR) of achieving SVR across trials.
Five RCT enrolling 386 patients were included. The PEG IFN/RBV group had increased likelihood of achieving SVR (RR = 1.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.08–2.10). SVR was significantly higher in PEG IFN-α-2a compared to the -α-2b group (P = 0.02). There was no statistically significant effect of ribavirin dosage on SVR (P = 0.55). The quality of evidence was moderate overall and limited by heterogeneity.
In treatment-naive patients with HCV-G4, treatment with PEG IFN plus RBV achieves higher SVR rate than treatment with IFN plus RBV.