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Hepatol Res. 2013 Jan;43(1):35-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2012.01056.x.

A multicenter survey of re-treatment with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C in Japan.

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  • 1Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka National Hospital, Amagasaki, Japan.

Abstract

AIM:

  This study aimed to clarify the factors associated the efficacy of re-treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG IFN) plus ribavirin combination therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C who had failed to respond to previous treatment.

METHODS:

  One hundred and forty-three patients who had previously shown relapse (n = 79), non-response (n = 34) or intolerance (n = 30) to PEG IFN plus ribavirin were re-treated with PEG IFN plus ribavirin.

RESULTS:

  Twenty-five patients with intolerance to previous treatment completed re-treatment and the sustained virological response (SVR) rates were 55% and 80% for hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 and 2, respectively. On re-treatment of the 113 patients who completed the previous treatment, the SVR rates were 48% and 63% for genotype 1 and 2, respectively. Relapse after previous treatment and a low baseline HCV RNA level on re-treatment were associated with SVR in genotype 1 (P < 0.001). Patients with the interleukin-28B major genotype responded significantly better and earlier to re-treatment, but the difference in the SVR rate did not reach a significant level between the major and minor genotypes (P = 0.09). Extended treatment of 72 weeks raised the SVR rate among the patients who attained complete early virological response but not rapid virological response with re-treatment (72 weeks, 73%, 16/22, vs 48 weeks, 38%, 5/13, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

  Relapse after previous treatment and a low baseline HCV RNA level have predictive values for a favorable response of PEG IFN plus ribavirin re-treatment for HCV genotype 1 patients. Re-treatment for 72 weeks may lead to clinical improvement for genotype 1 patients with complete early virological response and without rapid virological response on re-treatment.

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