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J Viral Hepat. 2000 May;7(3):225-9.

A randomized controlled trial of kurorinone versus interferon-alpha2a treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, 105th Hospital, HeFei, China.


It has recently been shown that a Chinese traditional medicine, kurorinone, extracted from Sophora Flavescens Ait, possesses antiviral properties. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of kurorinone treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Ninety-four patients with abnormal alanine transaminase (ALT) levels and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and/or hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA-positivity were randomly assigned to receive either kurorinone 400 mg daily (45 patients) or 3 million units (MU) of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) (49 patients, daily for 1 month, every other day for 2 months) for 3 months. Patients were followed-up for 12 months. At baseline, both groups were comparable regarding age, gender and serological parameters. At the end of treatment, complete response (defined as ALT normalization and HBeAg and/or HBV DNA loss) occurred in 50% of the kurorinone group and in 61.3% of the IFN-alpha-treated group (P > NS). At the end of the 12-month follow-up period, a complete response (sustained response) occurred in 26.7-36.7% of kurorinone-treated patients with moderate or mild liver damage and in 44.4-46.7% of IFN-alpha-treated patients with similar liver injury. In kurorinone- as well as in IFN-alpha-treated patients, there was no statistical significant difference with respect to complete response rates between HBeAg-positive and hepatitis B e antibody-positive subgroups. Kurorinone had no untoward side-effects except for local pain at injection sites. The results of this trial suggest that kurorinone is able to inhibit HBV replication and improve disease remission in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

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