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J Hepatol. 2012 Feb;56(2):313-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.04.021. Epub 2011 May 20.

Genome-wide association study of interferon-related cytopenia in chronic hepatitis C patients.

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  • 1Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27701, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Interferon-alfa (IFN)-related cytopenias are common and may be dose-limiting. We performed a genome wide association study on a well-characterized genotype 1 HCV cohort to identify genetic determinants of peginterferon-α (pegIFN)-related thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, and leukopenia.

METHODS:

1604/3070 patients in the IDEAL study consented to genetic testing. Trial inclusion criteria included a platelet (Pl) count ≥80×10(9)/L and an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥1500/mm(3). Samples were genotyped using the Illumina Human610-quad BeadChip. The primary analyses focused on the genetic determinants of quantitative change in cell counts (Pl, ANC, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils) at week 4 in patients >80% adherent to therapy (n=1294).

RESULTS:

6 SNPs on chromosome 20 were positively associated with Pl reduction (top SNP rs965469, p=10(-10)). These tag SNPs are in high linkage disequilibrium with 2 functional variants in the ITPA gene, rs1127354 and rs7270101, that cause ITPase deficiency and protect against ribavirin (RBV)-induced hemolytic anemia (HA). rs1127354 and rs7270101 showed strong independent associations with Pl reduction (p=10(-12), p=10(-7)) and entirely explained the genome-wide significant associations. We believe this is an example of an indirect genetic association due to a reactive thrombocytosis to RBV-induced anemia: Hb decline was inversely correlated with Pl reduction (r=-0.28, p=10(-17)) and Hb change largely attenuated the association between the ITPA variants and Pl reduction in regression models. No common genetic variants were associated with pegIFN-induced neutropenia or leucopenia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Two ITPA variants were associated with thrombocytopenia; this was largely explained by a thrombocytotic response to RBV-induced HA attenuating IFN-related thrombocytopenia. No genetic determinants of pegIFN-induced neutropenia were identified.

Copyright © 2011 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21703177
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3634361
Free PMC Article
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