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Antivir Ther. 2007;12(8):1225-35.

Predictors of severe haematological toxicity secondary to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin treatment in HIV-HCV-coinfected patients.

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Unidad de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario de Valme, Sevilla, Spain.



Haematological adverse events related to pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) therapy could affect the patients' quality of life; however, the risk factors for severe haematological toxicity associated with this therapy in patients coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV are unclear. The objective of this study was to identify predictors of severe haematological toxicity among HIV-HCV-coinfected patients treated with PEG-IFN plus RBV.


This retrospective multicentric study included 237 HIV-HCV-coinfected patients on PEG-IFN plus RBV. Predictors of severe anaemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and overall haematological toxicity were analyzed.


Eighty (34%) individuals showed an episode of severe haematological toxicity. Severe anaemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 32 (13%), 42 (18%) and 26 (11%) patients, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, zidovudine use (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6-10; P = 0.001), baseline body weight < 65 kg (AOR 2.5; 95% CI 1.1-5; P = 0.024), cirrhosis (AOR 5; 95% CI 1.6-16.6; P = 0.006), PEG-IFN-alpha2a (AOR 2.7; 95% CI 1.1-6.6; P = 0.029) and pretreatment haemoglobin level < 14 g/dl (AOR 2.7; 95% CI 1.3-5.5; P = 0.005) were associated with any kind of severe haematological toxicity. Likewise, haemoglobin level < 13 g/dl, neutrophil counts < 2,500 cells/mm3 and platelet counts < 175,000 cells/mm3 were independent predictors of severe anaemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, respectively.


Zidovudine treatment, cirrhosis, baseline low body weight, use of PEG-IFN-alpha2a, and baseline haemoglobin level < 14 g/dl are predictors of overall severe haematological toxicity secondary to PEG-IFN plus RBV in HIV-infected individuals. Low pretreatment levels of each haematological series predict a significant decrease of their values during therapy.

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