Significance of interferon-β for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection in hemodialyzed patients


Dr Mikio Zeniya, 3-25-8 Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan. Email:


Aim:  We evaluated the adverse effects and efficacy associated with interferon-β (IFN-β) for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in 20 hemodialyzed (HD) patients.

Methods:  IFN-β was administrated at a dose of 3 MIU three times a week for 24 weeks simultaneously at the time of HD for the patients of genotype 2a whose viral loads were less than 150 KIU/mL and considered to respond well to IFN therapy.

Results:  There was a sustained virological response (SVR) rate of this treatment in 90% of the patients, and sex, age and HD duration had no affect. Slight adverse effects such as fever, malaise and itching were observed during the treatment periods but none serious in any of the patients. Also, no significant difference in adverse effect was observed between 3 MIU and higher dose (6 MIU) groups.

Conclusion:  Because IFN-β can be administrated easily into the circuit of HD, adverse effects can be monitored earlier and taken measures against quickly. Taken together, IFN-β-based therapy has a potential for HCV treatment in HD patients but further studies for the patients who have higher viral loads will be required to confirm this.