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Neth J Med. 2008 May;66(5):191-5.

Chronic hepatitis C responds poorly to combination therapy in chronic hepatis B carriers.

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  • 1Department Gastroenterology, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.



The effect of conventional interferon-based therapy of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) dual infection is controversial. Yet, no studies have been carried out into pegylated interferon treatment for chronic HBV/HCV coinfection. We aimed to evaluate the response rate and side effects of conventional or pegylated interferon combined with ribavirin on chronic HBV/HCV coinfection therapy.


The study included 36 chronic hepatitis patients (M/F: 28/8, mean age 47+/-12 years) who were positive for HBsAg and anti-HCV. They were tested for the presence of HBV-DNA by hybridisation assay, and the samples giving negative results were retested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All patients were tested for HCV-RNA using PCR, and the HCV genotype was determined.


Nineteen patients were given standard interferon either alone or in combination with ribavirin, whereas 17 were given pegylated interferon and ribavirin combination therapy. None of the patients had HBV-DNA positivity; however, all had HCV-RNA detectable by PCR. All the patients had HCV genotype 1b. The mean alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were 118+/-65 U/l and 90+/-95 U/l respectively. Five patients in each group discontinued the treatment due to side effects. Only two patients (one from each group) reached sustained virological response.


Neither pegylated nor conventional interferon based regimes were effective for HBV/HCV coinfection, in which the dominant virus was HCV. Pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy was not superior to conventional interferon based regimes in the treatment of HBV/HCV coinfection.

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