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J Hepatol. 2000 Nov;33(5):812-7.

Decreased bone mineral density after therapy with alpha interferon in combination with ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C.

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1
Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. jasolis@h12o.es

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

Several thousand patients with chronic hepatitis C have been treated with interferon plus ribavirin. After observing a male patient who developed severe bone loss during this treatment, we studied skeletal status and bone mineral metabolism in patients on therapy with interferon plus ribavirin.

METHODS:

Bone mineral density and biochemical bone markers were studied in 32 male patients (31-58 years old) treated for 12 months with either interferon alone (group 1; n=13) or interferon plus ribavirin (group 2; n= 19).

RESULTS:

Bone mineral density was significantly lower in group 2 (0.877-0.07 g/cm2) than in group 1 (1.108+/-0.08 g/cm2, p<0.001). Likewise, T- and Z-score values were also decreased in group 2 (T: -1.95+/-0.6. Z: -1.76+/-0.51) compared with group 1 (T: 0.19+/-0.6; p<0.001. Z: 0.26+/-0.6; p<0.001). Serum and urine biochemical bone markers were normal in both groups. However, urinary calcium excretion was decreased in patients on combined therapy.

CONCLUSION:

Treatment of chronic hepatitis C with interferon plus ribavirin may induce bone loss. This secondary effect should be investigated during the follow-up of these patients, since they may require therapies aimed at prevention or amelioration of these defects.

PMID:
11097491
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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