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J Hepatol. 2006 Feb;44(2):291-301. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Treatment with daily consensus interferon (CIFN) plus ribavirin in non-responder patients with chronic hepatitis C: a randomized open-label pilot study.

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Abt. Gastroenterologie, Hepatologie und Endokrinologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany.



Therapeutic options for hepatitis C non-responder patients are limited.


We initiated an open-label pilot study to investigate the efficacy of CIFN plus ribavirin on viral kinetics, sustained virological response (SVR), and histological response in hepatitis C non-responder patients. Seventy-seven patients were enrolled to receive CIFN given daily in combination with 1000/1200 mg ribavirin. An 8-week induction-dosing regimen of 18 microg CIFN, followed by 9 microg for 40 weeks was compared to 9 microg CIFN for 48 weeks. 90% of patients were infected with HCV-genotype 1.


Overall, 82% of the patients demonstrated an early virological response, 65% had an end-of-treatment response, and the SVR was 30%. Interferon/ribavirin non-responders demonstrated a SVR of 22%. Induction-dosing resulted in a greater first-phase HCV-RNA decay that, however, did not translate to better SVRs, presumably due to more dose modifications. High ALT, younger age, and second-phase viral kinetics were associated with SVR. Only sustained responders and relapse patients showed an improved liver histology.


Daily dosing of CIFN plus ribavirin may be a promising concept for selected non-responder patients before considering therapies which are anti-viral but not curative. However, motivation and compliance are requisites and a CIFN induction is not required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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