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J Hepatol. 2007 Apr;46(4):596-604. Epub 2006 Nov 27.

High predictive value of early viral kinetics in retreatment with peginterferon and ribavirin of chronic hepatitis C patients non-responders to standard combination therapy.

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Service d'Hépatologie and INSERM CRB3, Hôpital Beaujon, AP-HP, Université Paris VII, Clichy, France.



To evaluate the efficacy of peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin in unselected consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis C, treated outside of trials, who were relapsers or non-responders to interferon and ribavirin combination.


One hundred and fifty-four patients were evaluated. There were 101 non-responders and 53 relapsers to standard combination therapy. Patients were retreated with peginterferon alfa-2b 1.5 microg/kg/wk plus ribavirin 1000-1200 mg/day during 48 weeks.


Forty-four patients (28.6%) achieved sustained virological response (SVR). Rapid (week 4) and early (week 12) virological response had high negative predictive values of SVR (94% and 97%, respectively); however positive predictive values were relatively low (52% and 49%, respectively). Relapsers had higher SVR rates (58.5%) than non-responders (13%) p<0.0001. In non-responders, SVR raised to 50% in patients with genotype non-1 and mild or moderate fibrosis. In multivariate analysis, predictors of SVR were: relapse after interferon plus ribavirin combination, mild or moderate fibrosis, genotype non-1 and baseline viral load <2 million copies/ml.


Relapsers to interferon plus ribavirin therapy, and non-responders with genotype non-1 and mild or moderate fibrosis, achieved a relatively high SVR rate following retreatment with peginterferon plus ribavirin. Early viral kinetics had a high negative predictive value of SVR.

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