Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Nephrol. 2005 Mar;63(3):232-5.

Superiority of standard interferon-alpha2b compared to pegylated interferon-alpha2b (12 kDa) in a hemodialysis patient with chronic hepatitis C?

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents an important problem for hemodialysis patients. Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) three times per week has been shown to clear HCV RNA in a substantial proportion of renal transplant candidates, and may thereby prevent the deleterious effect of immunosuppressive treatment on progression of liver disease in HCV-positive patients after renal transplantation. Data on the efficacy of the new pegylated interferons in hemodialysis patients are limited and general recommendations are absent.


A 41-year-old Caucasian man infected with hepatitis C genotype 1b was admitted with a history of renal transplantation in 1990, and reintroduced hemodialysis in 1997 because of chronic rejection. Antiviral therapy with pegylated interferon-alpha2b (120 microg/oiw) and ribavirin (400 mg/tiw) was initiated. A virological and biochemical response with undetectable HCV-RNA was evident already after six weeks. Two weeks later, however, HCV-RNA became detectable again with 18.000 IU/ml. The treatment regimen was changed to standard-IFN-alpha2b (3 MU/tiw). Shortly thereafter, ribavirin had to be withdrawn because of severe anemia. After three weeks, hemoglobin level rebounded to values higher than 10 g/dl and a lower dose of ribavirin (200 mg/tiw) could be reintroduced. Virological and biochemical response occurred after switching to standard interferon-alpha2b within three months with good tolerance of antiviral combination treatment until the end of 48 weeks of therapy. The patient remained HCV-RNA-negative throughout follow-up of 36 weeks. ALT levels are still within normal limits and the patient is now waiting for a kidney transplantation.


Considering the treatment course of this patient, IFN-alpha2b three times per week directly after hemodialysis seems to be superior to pegylated interferon-alpha2b once weekly in this case. The role of pegylated IFN-alpha2a for dialysis patients remains to be investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center