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Trop Gastroenterol. 2012 Apr-Jun;33(2):112-7.

A randomized trial of 24 versus 48 weeks of peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin in Egyptian patients with hepatitis C virus genotype 4 and rapid viral response.

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1
Department of Gastroenterology, Theodore Bilharz institute, Cairo, Egypt.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIM:

Little data is available regarding the 24-week therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in Egyptian patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 4 infection. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of 24-week versus 48-week peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin therapy in patients with HCV genotype 4 infection with with rapid virological response.

METHODS:

This trial included 102 patients with HCV genotype 4 infection and low viral load. They were treated with peginterferon alpha-2a (180 microg/week) plus ribavirin. Patients (87/102) with a rapid virological response were randomized for a total treatment duration of 24 weeks (group A: 43) or 48 weeks (group B:44). Virological responses (EVR: early virological response, EOTR: end of treatment response, and SVR: sustained virological response) were assessed for each group.

RESULTS:

In group A, EVR was achieved in 37/43 (84%) patients, while EOTR was achieved in 34/43 (79%) patients and SVR in 30/43 (70%) patients. In group B, on the other hand EVR was achieved in 38/44 (84%) patients, while EOTR was achieved in 35/44 (80%) patients and SVR in 32/44 (73%) patients. No significant difference in SVR rates was observed between the two groups. The rate of adverse events was higher in group B, with lower adherence rates than group A.

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients with chronic HCV genotype 4 infection with rapid virological response and low viral loads, a 24-week peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin therapy is as effective as a 48-week therapy with lower rate of adverse events.

PMID:
23025057
DOI:
10.7869/tg.2012.27
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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