Background/Aims: A sustained biochemical and virologic response to standard interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C is seen in no more than 25% of patients, and the efficacy of re-treatment or of higher doses in non-responders and relapsers has not been established. A more effective therapy for interferon alfa-resistant hepatitis C is needed. Methods: A study of ribavirin plus interferon alfa combination therapy was conducted in 30 patients with chronic hepatitis C resistant to a previous standard course of interferon alfa (14 interferon non-responders, 16 interferon relapsers). Patients were randomly assigned to receive either ribavirin, 800 mg daily, and interferon alfa, 3 MU thrice weekly (n=15), or interferon alfa alone, 3 MU thrice weekly (n=15), for 6 months. Results: At the end of treatment, normal alanine aminotransferase levels were observed in eight patients in the combination therapy group: one (14%) interferon non-responder and seven (87%) interferon relapsers (p=0.01). Six months post-therapy, sustained normalization of alanine aminotransferase was achieved in seven (87%) interferon alfa relapsers, but not in any of the interferon alfa non-responders (p=0.001). In the group of patients treated with interferon alfa alone, sustained normalization of alanine aminotransferase was observed in one interferon relapser only. Serum HCV RNA became negative in eight patients receiving combination therapy - two (28%) interferon non-responders and six (75%) interferon relapsers. Six months later, circulating HCV RNA remained negative in seven patients: one (14%) interferon non-responder and six (75%) interferon relapsers (p=0.04). Sustained clearance of HCV RNA was not observed in patients re-treated with interferon alone. The sustained response to combination therapy was accompanied by reduced hepatic necroinflammatory activity on liver biopsy. Hepatitis C virus genotype was not significantly associated with response to combination therapy. Side effects were mild and well tolerated. Conclusions: Our experience indicates that combination therapy of ribavirin plus interferon alfa induces sustained biochemical, virologic, and histologic responses in most patients who are interferon relapsers.
|Titolo:||Combination antiviral therapy with ribavirin and interferon alfa in interferon alfa relapsers and non-responders: Italian experience|
BRILLANTI, STEFANO (Corresponding)
|Citazione:||Brillanti, S., Miglioli, M., & Barbara, L. (1995). Combination antiviral therapy with ribavirin and interferon alfa in interferon alfa relapsers and non-responders: Italian experience. JOURNAL OF HEPATOLOGY, 23(Suppl. 2), 13-16.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|