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J Hepatol. 2007 Mar;46(3):403-10. Epub 2006 Nov 7.

Predictive factors of early and sustained responses to peginterferon plus ribavirin combination therapy in Japanese patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b: amino acid substitutions in the core region and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

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  • 1Department of Hepatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.



We showed previously that amino acid (aa) substitutions in the HCV core region (HCV-CR) are predictors of non-virological response (NVR) to peginterferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) therapy. Here, we determined the predictive factors of sustained virological response (SVR) and early virologic response (EVR) to this treatment.


We evaluated the response to 48-week PEG-IFN-RBV therapy in 114 Japanese adults infected with HCV genotype 1b and determined the predictors of EVR and SVR.


EVR was achieved by 70% and SVR by 45% of patients. 64% of patients who achieved EVR also showed SVR, while none of non-EVR achieved SVR. Multivariate analysis identified low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (>or=86 mg/dl), aa substitutions in HCV-CR (double-wild-type; arginine at aa 70/leucine at aa 91), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) (<109 IU/l), RBV dose (>or=11.0mg/kg), and leukocyte count (>or=4500/mm3) as significant determinants of EVR, and aa substitutions in HCV-CR (double-wild-type), LDL-C (>or=86 mg/dl), male gender, ICG R15 (<10%), GGT (<109 IU/l), and RBV dose (>or=11.0 mg/kg) as determinants of SVR. Prediction of response to therapy based on combination of these factors had high sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values.


Our study identified aa substitutions in the core region and serum LDL-C as predictors of response to PEG-IFN-RBV therapy in Japanese patients infected with HCV genotype 1b.

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