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Ann Hepatol. 2014 Sep-Oct;13(5):503-9.

Treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 early responders with 36 week pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy.

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Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Punjab, India.



Standard treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 (CHC G-1) infection includes pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (PEG-RBV) for 48 weeks. Shorter treatment regimen would be more acceptable due to lower cost and fewer side-effects. We aimed to compare the efficacy of 36 week PEG-RBV therapy with standard 48 week therapy in CHC G-1 patients who achieve complete early virological response (cEVR).


Consecutive treatment-naïve patients with CHC G-1 were treated with pegylated interferon a2b (1.5 μg/kg/week) or α2a (180 μg/week) and weight based ribavirin. Patients who achieved cEVR at 12 weeks [undetectable HCV RNA irrespective of RVR (rapid virological response)] were randomized into- group A (48 weeks therapy) and group B (36 weeks therapy). Primary end-point was achievement of sustained virological response (SVR) at 24 weeks of follow up.


Out of the total 166 patients started on treatment, 112 (69.3%) achieved cEVR, and were randomized into group A (n = 59) and group B (n = 53). Fifty-five (93.2%) patients in group A and 50 (94.3%) in group B completed therapy. The overall SVR rate in group A was 79.6% (47/59) and group B was 84.9% (45/53) (p = 0.622). SVR rates in the two groups were comparable in all patient sub-groups according to factors like viral load (≤ or > 400,000 IU/mL), RVR (achieved/not achieved), age (≤ or > 40 years), body mass index (≤ or > 27) and cirrhosis (present/absent).


In CHC G-1 patients who achieve cEVR, 36 weeks PEG-RBV therapy is as effective as standard 48 weeks therapy, irrespective of other host or virological factors.

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