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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Nov 1;58(3):261-8. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182324af9.

Randomized trial comparing dose reduction and growth factor supplementation for management of hematological side effects in HIV/hepatitis C virus patients receiving pegylated-interferon and ribavirin.

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  • 1Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA. aht2002@med.cornell.edu



Pegylated-interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV), current standard treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, are frequently associated with neutropenia and anemia, leading to high treatment discontinuation rates in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients. Our objective was to compare the effectiveness of intervening with hematologic growth factors versus dose reductions of standard HCV therapy for the management of treatment-induced hematologic disorders.


Ninety-two HIV/HCV-coinfected, therapy-naive subjects received PEG-IFN alfa-2b 1.5 μg·kg⁻¹·wk⁻¹ and RBV 13 ± 2 mg·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹ for up to 48 weeks. Before treatment initiation, subjects were randomized to subsequently receive growth factors, recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) and/or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, or dose reduction (RBV and/or PEG-IFN) for anemia and neutropenia management, respectively. We analyzed the ability of each management strategy to control anemia and neutropenia and the percentage of subjects who achieved a successful treatment outcome according to the different management strategies.


During treatment, 43 subjects developed anemia (human erythropoietin, n = 24; dose reduction, n = 19), whereas 25 subjects developed neutropenia (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, n = 10; dose reduction, n = 15). After the intervention, the increase in both hemoglobin and absolute neutrophil counts did not differ between the 2 side effect management strategies. Sustained response percentages were similar comparing anemic and neutropenic subjects regardless of management strategy (anemia: recombinant human erythropoietin, 29% versus dose reduction, 21%, P = 0.92; neutropenia: granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, 40% versus dose reduction, 20%, P = 0.46).


Growth factor supplementation and dose reduction do not seem to differ as management strategies for anemia and neutropenia in HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals treated with PEG-IFN/RBV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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