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Gut. 2008 Apr;57(4):525-30. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Pegylated interferon alpha-2a versus standard interferon alpha-2a for treatment-naive dialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C: a randomised study.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is prevalent in dialysis patients, and standard interferon monotherapy is the current standard of care for such patients.

AIM:

To investigate whether pegylated interferon has a better therapeutic efficacy and safety profile than standard interferon in dialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C.

METHODS:

50 such patients were randomly assigned to receive either pegylated interferon alpha-2a 135 microg subcutaneously once per week or standard interferon alpha-2a 3 million units subcutaneously thrice per week for 24 weeks. The primary efficacy and safety end points were sustained virological response (SVR) by intention-to-treat analysis and treatment-related withdrawal rate during the study.

RESULTS:

In univariate analysis, patients receiving pegylated interferon alpha-2a tended to have a higher sustained virological response (SVR) than those receiving standard interferon alpha-2a (48% vs 20%, p = 0.07). By using multivariate analysis, treatment with pegylated interferon alpha-2a (p = 0.02) and pretreatment HCV RNA level <800 000 IU/ml (p = 0.007) were independently predictive of an SVR. All patients failing to achieve a rapid virological response (RVR) could not achieve an SVR. In addition, patients receiving pegylated interferon alpha-2a had a significantly lower treatment-related withdrawal rate than those receiving standard interferon alpha-2a (0% vs 20%, p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

Pegylated interferon alpha-2a once weekly provides more effective and safer therapy than standard interferon alpha-2a thrice weekly for treatment-naive dialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C.

PMID:
17881538
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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