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Quantification of hepatitis C virus in patients treated with peginterferon-alfa 2a plus ribavirin treatment by COBAS TaqMan HCV test

Authors


Tatsuo Kanda, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine and Clinical Oncology, Chiba University, Graduate School of Medicine, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.
E-mail: kandat-cib@umin.ac.jp

Abstract

Summary.  Extremely low levels of serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA can be detected by COBAS TaqMan HCV test. To investigate whether the COBAS TaqMan HCV test is useful for measuring rapid virological response (RVR) and early virological response (EVR) to predict sustained virological response (SVR), we compared the virological response to PEG-IFN-alfa 2a plus RBV in 76 patients infected with HCV genotype 1 when undetectable HCV RNA by the COBAS TaqMan HCV test was used, with those when below 1.7 log IU/mL HCV RNA by COBAS TaqMan HCV test was used, which corresponded to the use of traditional methods. Among the 76 patients, 28 (36.8%) had SVR, 13 (17.1%) relapsed, 19 (25.0%) did not respond, and 16 (21.0%) discontinued the treatment due to side effects. The positive predictive values for SVR based on undetectable HCV RNA by COBAS TaqMan HCV test at 24 weeks after the end of treatment [10/10 (100%) at week 4, 21/23 (91.3%) at week 8 and 26/33 (78.7%) at week 12] were superior to those based on <1.7 log IU/mL HCV RNA [17/19 (89.4%) at week 4, 27/38 (71.0%) at week 8, and 27/43 (62.7%) at week 12]. The negative predictive values for SVR based on <1.7 log IU/mL HCV RNA by COBAS TaqMan HCV test [46/57 (80.7%) at week 4, 37/38 (97.3%) at week 8, and 32/33 (96.9%) at week 12] were superior to those based on undetectable HCV RNA [48/66 (72.7%) at week 4, 46/53 (86.7%) at week 8, and 41/43 (95.3%) at week 12]. The utilization of both undetectable RNA and <1.7 log IU/mL HCV RNA by COBAS TaqMan HCV test is useful and could predict SVR and non-SVR patients with greater accuracy.

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