Enhanced efficacy of pegylated interferon alpha-2a over pegylated interferon and ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C genotype 4A randomized trial and quality of life analysis



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: CORRIGENDA Volume 31, Issue 4, 588, Article first published online: 17 February 2011

Prof. Sanaa M. Kamal, Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Tropical Medicine, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, University of Ain Shams, 22 Al Ahram Street, Roxy, Heliopolis, II341 Cairo, Egypt
Tel: +20 22 455 4010
Fax: +20 22 453 0665
e-mail: sanaakamal@comcast.net, sanaa.kamal@link.net


Aim: The therapy of chronic hepatitis C genotype 4 (HCV-4) has not been optimized yet. This randomized, prospective, parallel-group clinical trial compared the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon α-2a (PEG-IFN α-2a) plus ribavirin and PEG-IFN α-2b plus ribavirin and assessed the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with chronic HCV-4.

Methods: Eligible patients with proven chronic HCV-4 were randomized to receive either a weekly dose of PEG-IFN α-2a (180 μg) or PEG-IFN α-2b (1.5 μg/kg) and a daily dose of ribavirin (1000–1200 mg) for 48 weeks with 24 weeks post-treatment follow-up. The primary end point was sustained virological response (SVR) defined by undetectable HCV RNA 24 weeks after treatment. The Short form-36 Health Survey version 2 (SF-36v2) and the Chronic Liver Disease questionnaires (CLDQ) were assessed before, during and after therapy.

Results: The overall SVR rate of the entire cohort was 59.9%. The SVR rates were significantly higher in patients treated with PEG-IFN α-2a and ribavirin (Group A; n=109) compared with those treated with PEG-IFN α-2b and ribavirin (Group B; n=108, 70.6 vs. 54.6%, respectively; P=0.017). The relapse rates were 5.1% for PEG-IFN α-2a and 15.7% for PEG-IFN α-2b (P=0.0019). The SF-36v2 and CLDQ were low during therapy and improved significantly after therapy successful therapy.

Conclusion: Pegylated interferon α-2a plus ribavirin was significantly more effective than PEG-IFN α-2b and ribavirin therapy in the treatment of chronic HCV-4 patients. The tolerability and adverse events were comparable between the two regimens. The HRQOL improved significantly after successful PEG-IFN α-2a plus ribavirin therapy.