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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Apr 15;23(8):1043-54.

Review article: predicting response in hepatitis C virus therapy.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, Saarland University, Homburg/Saar, Germany.


The introduction of combination therapy with ribavirin and of pegylated interferons has improved treatment results in patients with chronic hepatitis C. However, overall rates of sustained virologic response following antiviral therapy of chronic hepatitis C still do not exceed 54-63%. Because of several virus- and patient-related factors, treatment is even less successful in some patient subpopulations. The major viral factors associated with impaired response are hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection and a high viral load. Among patient-related factors cirrhosis is of special importance. Baseline predictive factors for sustained virologic response become less important for prediction of treatment outcome when quantifications of hepatitis C virus RNA during early therapy are taken into account. This article provides a summary of virus- and patient-related parameters, which are prognostic for response to antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis C and focuses on the prediction of treatment response by quantification of hepatitis C virus RNA concentration during therapy.

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