Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Gut. 2003 Nov;52(11):1644-8.

Outcomes of interferon alpha and ribavirin treatment for chronic hepatitis C in patients with normal serum aminotransaminases.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. huicheekin@hotmail.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Information on treatment outcomes with interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy in chronic hepatitis C patients with normal alanine aminotransaminase (ALT) levels is limited.

AIM:

The aims of this study were to assess outcomes of treatment with interferon plus ribavirin in patients with normal ALT levels (normal ALT group, n=52) compared with those with elevated ALT levels (raised ALT group, n=53), and to document the rate at which patients with normal ALT levels have an apparent worsening of disease, as shown by increases in ALT levels.

RESULTS:

At the end of treatment (week 48), 31 patients (59.6%) in the normal ALT group and 30 patients (56.6%) in the raised ALT group had undetectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA (p=0.75). A sustained virological response (SVR) was achieved in 20 patients (38.5%) in the normal ALT group and in 21 patients (39.6%) in the raised ALT group (p=0.90). Patients were subsequently followed up for a median of 29.8 (interquartile range 25th-75th percentile (IQR) 20.8-36.2) months in the normal ALT group and for a median of 26.1 (IQR 17.7-36.3) months in the raised group (p=0.20) after week 72 of treatment. Among patients without SVR in the normal ALT group, only three patients (9.4%) developed persistently raised ALT levels following therapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Combination therapy with interferon plus ribavirin is associated with a similar SVR in patients with normal ALT levels compared with those with elevated ALT levels. In patients with normal ALT levels, virological non-response to therapy results in new elevations in serum ALT levels in a small minority only.

PMID:
14570736
PMCID:
PMC1773858
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk