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Keywords:

  • genotype 1b;
  • hepatitis C virus;
  • high-performance liquid chromatography;
  • interferon;
  • lipoprotein;
  • sustained virological responses

Summary.  Pegylated interferon and ribavirin combination therapy is the standard treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Some groups have reported a relation between lipid values and response while others have reported that microsomal triglyceride transfer protein, a key enzyme in the assembly and secretion of lipoproteins, was related to hepatitis C virus (HCV). The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the lipoprotein profiles, classified according to size, and hepatitis C treatment and the usefulness for predicting the outcome of treatment. Forty-four patients with CHC (27 men and 17 women) were included in the study. The serum cholesterol and triglyceride (TG) levels in the lipoprotein subclasses were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography with gel permeation columns, which classified lipoproteins into 20 subfractions based on particle size. According to a univariate analysis, those who achieved an sustained viral response (SVR) had a significantly higher serum total cholesterol level, higher cholesterol levels in the low-density lipoprotein subfraction (25.5 nm in diameter) and the very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) subfraction (44.5 and 36.8 nm), and a higher serum TG level in the VLDL subfraction (44.5 nm), compared with the corresponding values in the non-SVR group. Higher serum cholesterol and TG concentrations in the lipoprotein subfractions were predictive of an SVR to therapy for HCV infection with genotype 1b prior to the start of interferon treatment.