Send to

Choose Destination
Gastroenterology. 2001 May;120(6):1438-47.

Viral kinetics in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with standard or peginterferon alpha2a.

Author information

Medizinische Klinik II, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universit├Ąt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.



Covalent attachment of a 40-kilodalton polyethylene glycol moiety to interferon alpha2a (peginterferon alpha2a) results in sustained delivery and reduced clearance compared with standard interferon alpha2a. The aim of the study was to compare viral kinetics in patients treated with standard or peginterferon alpha2a.


Patients with chronic hepatitis C were randomly assigned to receive either standard interferon alpha2a thrice weekly (n = 16) or 180 microg peginterferon alpha2a once weekly (n = 17) for 48 weeks. HCV RNA was quantitated before and frequently during treatment.


The extent of the second-phase decline of HCV RNA, representing the degradation rate of infected cells during therapy for responding patients, was 0.02 +/- 0.03 day(-1) (HCV-1), 0.88 +/- 0.64 day(-1) (HCV non-1), 0.06 +/- 0.08 day(-1) (HCV-1), and 0.44 +/- 0.33 day(-1) (HCV non-1) in patients treated with standard or peginterferon alpha2a, respectively. The second-phase decline was low (<0.05 day(-1)) in most patients without a virological end-of-treatment response, and the second-phase decline was high (>0.25 day(-1)) in all patients with sustained virological response.


The degradation rate of infected cells is HCV genotype dependent. Treatment with peginterferon alpha2a may reinforce the death rate of infected cells (particularly in HCV-1-infected patients) or stabilize the therapeutic effect on viral production. The second-phase decline of HCV RNA is predictive of virological sustained response.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center