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Hepatology. 2011 Apr;53(4):1109-17. doi: 10.1002/hep.24180.

Virological response is associated with decline in hemoglobin concentration during pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy in hepatitis C virus genotype 1.

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  • 1Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, Monash Medical Centre and Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Anemia may increase the likelihood of achieving a sustained virological response (SVR) during pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. To determine whether hemoglobin decline is associated with SVR, we retrospectively evaluated the CHARIOT study of 871 treatment-naïve HCV genotype 1 patients. Anemia (serum hemoglobin <100 g/L) occurred in 137 (16%) patients, of whom only 14 (10%) received erythropoietin. Hemoglobin decline >30g/L from baseline occurred in 76% of patients overall, including 526 patients who did not become anemic. Virological responses were higher in anemic patients compared with those who did not develop anemia (end of treatment, 80% versus 65%, P = 0.003; SVR, 61% versus 50%, P = 0.02); these differences remained significant when patients receiving erythropoietin were excluded from analysis. SVR was also higher in patients with hemoglobin decline >30 g/L compared with patients without a similar decline. In multiple logistic regression analyses with treatment group and baseline characteristics, the odds ratio for SVR was 1.97 (95% confidence interval, 1.08-3.62) for anemia and 2.17 (95% confidence interval, 1.31-3.62) for hemoglobin decline >30 g/L. Patients who first developed a hemoglobin decline >30 g/L during weeks 5-12 and 13-48 were more likely to achieve SVR than those who first developed such changes in weeks 0-4 or who never experienced them.


Patients with HCV genotype 1 infection who develop anemia or experience a hemoglobin decline >30 g/L during weeks 5-48 of therapy achieve higher virological responses to pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy that are unrelated to erythropoietin use.

2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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