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Ital J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Apr;30(2):181-4.

Natural beta interferon in acute type-C hepatitis patients: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Amedeo di Savoia Hospital, Torino, Italy.

Abstract

AIM OF THE STUDY:

A multicentre randomized controlled trial to assess whether a short course of beta-interferon could reduce the rate of chronic evolution of acute hepatitis C, in line with recent observations, was started in Northern Italy in 1991.

METHODS:

Forty acute hepatitis C patients were randomized to receive natural beta interferon 3,000,000 international units intramuscularly three times a week for 4 weeks or symptomatic drugs, and were followed up for a median period of 22.5 months.

RESULTS:

The chronicity rate was 75% (15/20 patients) in the interferon-treated group, and 80% (16/20) in the untreated group. No difference in the duration of the acute phase of hepatitis was observed. Hepatitis C virus ribonucleic acid was determined in 21 cases and was positive in 19 cases at baseline and in 15/17 chronic and 1/4 non chronic cases at the end of follow-up. Side effects of therapy (flu-like syndrome in 40% of cases) were mild and short-lasting. No aminotransferase flare-ups were observed during treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Beta interferon at the suggested regimen is well tolerated but does not seem to significantly influence the natural course of acute hepatitis C.

PMID:
9675655
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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