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Liver. 1996 Aug;16(4):248-54.

Iron stores, response to alpha-interferon therapy, and effects of iron depletion in chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Istituto di Scienze Biomediche, Cattedra di Medicina Interna, Ospedale S. Gerardo dei Tintori, Monza e Universit√† degli Studi di Milano, Italy.

Abstract

We studied 81 patients with chronic hepatitis C to investigate the relationship between iron and alpha-interferon response. Sixty-one patients (group A) were given alpha-interferon irrespective of iron status, whereas 20 (group B) with iron overload, were iron depleted before alpha-interferon therapy. In group A, 21 patients responded to alpha-interferon and 40 were non-responders. Increased iron indices were significantly more frequent in non-responders than responders. Multivariate analysis showed that among the independent variables evaluated, only gamma-GT and liver iron concentration predicted therapy outcome. After phlebotomy treatment, serum alanine aminotransferase fell significantly both in patients of group B (196 +/- 122 IU/l vs 82 +/- 37 IU/l, p < 10(-6)) and in 12 non-responders of group A (198 +/- 89 IU/l vs 107 +/- 81 IU/l, p < 10(-6)). In 16 iron depleted patients, eight from each group, subsequent treatment with alpha-interferon produced a response in only one patient. These results suggest that increased liver iron is a negative prognostic factor for alpha-interferon response in chronic hepatitis C. Iron depletion had a beneficial effect on serum alanine aminotransferase in all the patients treated, but did not improve the response to alpha-interferon.

PMID:
8877995
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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