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Liver Int. 2004 Dec;24(6):568-74.

Peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin compared with interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin for initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C in Saudi patients commonly infected with genotype 4.

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1
College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

AIM:

Comparing the efficacy of peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin with interferon alpha -2b plus ribavirin in Saudi patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) commonly infected with genotype 4.

METHODS:

A total of 96 patients with chronic HCV infection were randomly assigned to two treatment groups. Forty-eight patients received once weekly 100 microg of peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin given orally 800 mg/day (peginterferon group). Another 48 patients received thrice weekly 3 million units of interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin 800 mg/day (interferon group). At the end of treatment (48 weeks) and sustained (72 weeks) biochemical and virologic responses were determined.

RESULTS:

In the peginterferon group, 70.8% (34/48) patients attained both biochemical and virologic responses at the end of the treatment as against 52.1% (25/48) patients in the interferon group. (P=0.09 for both). Similarly, sustained biochemical and virologic responses in the peginterferon group were attained in 52.1% (25/48) and 43.8% (21/48) patients as against 43.8% (21/48) and 29.2% (14/48) patients in the interferon group, respectively (P=0.54 and 0.20, respectively). The sustained virologic response rates in patients with genotype 4 were 42.9% (12/28) in the peginterferon group and 32.3% (10/31) in the interferon group (P=0.43). Patients in peginterferon group had higher, although statistically not significant adverse reactions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Saudi patients with chronic HCV attained a higher, although statistically not significant sustained virologic response with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin compared with interferon plus ribavirin.

PMID:
15566506
DOI:
10.1111/j.1478-3231.2004.0976.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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