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J Hepatol. 2010 Jun;52(6):827-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2010.01.028. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus infection in children and adolescents.

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Université Catholique de Louvain, Cliniques universitaires St Luc, Bruxelles, Belgium.



This multi-center study aimed to prospectively evaluate the safety and efficacy of a genotype-based Pegylated Interferon alfa-2a/Ribavirin therapy in treatment-naïve hepatitis C virus (HCV), positive HCV serology, and quantifiable HCV RNA, infected children.


Eighteen children with genotypes 2 and 3 patients (group A) were assigned to medication for 24weeks, and 47 children with genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6 patients (group B) for 48weeks.


Early response at week 12 was observed in 83% of group A patients and in 57% of group B patients (p<0.05). End of treatment response was achieved in 94% of patients in group A and in 57% in group B (p<0.001). Sustained virologic response was maintained in 89% of patients in group A and in 57% of patients in group B (p<0.01). Ten patients stopped prematurely the treatment, 2 for serious adverse event (acute hepatitis and thyrotoxicosis), and 8 because of no virologic response at week 24. Peginterferon alfa-2a and Ribavirin dose was adjusted in 15 patients (23%), 11 for neutropenia (17%), and 3 patients (5%), for anemia, respectively. Treatment-related adverse events included fever and flu-like symptoms (54%), irritability-depression-change of mood (34%), vomiting (23%), abdominal pain (38%), loss of appetite (21.5%) and dermatitis (29%). No influence on height growth was observed.


Pegylated inteferon alfa-2a and Ribavirin treatment allowed to achieve SVR in 57% of pediatric patients with genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6, and in 94% of genotypes 2 and 3. These results show an improved SVR as compared to reference series in adults with similar regimen.

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