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J Hepatol. 2005 Sep;43(3):425-33.

Predicting sustained virological responses in chronic hepatitis C patients treated with peginterferon alfa-2a (40 KD)/ribavirin.

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1
Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. peter.ferenci@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

Prediction of sustained virological response (SVR) during treatment would allow clinicians to identify patients most likely to benefit from therapy.

METHODS:

Retrospective analysis of data from 1121 adults with chronic hepatitis C treated for 48 weeks with peginterferon alfa-2a (40 KD) 180 microg/week plus placebo or ribavirin (1000/1200 mg/day), or interferon alfa-2b 3 MIU three times/week plus ribavirin in a randomized, multinational, study.

RESULTS:

67% of patients treated with peginterferon alfa-2a (40 KD)/ribavirin with early virological responses (HCV RNA negative or > or = 2 log10 decrease) at week 12 had SVRs at week 72 (HCV RNA < 50 IU/mL). The negative predictive value (NPV) was 97%. The probability of an SVR increased with the rapidity of HCV RNA suppression. The highest SVR rates were achieved in patients with rapid virological responses at week 4, but the corresponding NPV (74%) is too low for a decision criterion. In patients with early virological responses by week 12, the SVR rate was approximately 20% lower in those who received <80% compared with patients who received > or = 80% of the planned ribavirin dose.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early, sustained suppression of HCV replication portends an SVR. Cessation of treatment may be contemplated in patients without a > or = 2 log10 reduction in HCV RNA after 12 weeks.

PMID:
15990196
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhep.2005.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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