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Hepat Mon. 2015 Sep 29;15(9):e30780. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.30780. eCollection 2015 Sep.

Efficacy and Tolerability of Peginterferon alpha-2a and Peginterferon alpha-2b in Iranian Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C.

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Baqiyatallah Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Tehran, IR Iran ; Middle East Liver Diseases Center (MELD), Tehran, IR Iran.
Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion Medicine, Tehran, IR Iran.



Nearly 0.5% of Iranians are infected with HCV. Peginterferon-alpha-2a and Peginterferon-alpha-2b are the two available types of interferon for the treatment of hepatitis C. Comparing the results of these two treatments is still a challenge.


The aim of this study was to compare the results of Peginterferon-alpha-2a and Peginterferon-alpha-2b in Iranian patients with chronic hepatitis C.


289 patients with chronic hepatitis C attending Tehran Hepatitis Center (THC) and Hepatitis Clinic of Tehran Blood Transfusion Organization (TBTO) from January 2008 to April 2013 and treated with combination of Peginterferon-alpha-2a or Peginterferon-alpha-2b plus Ribavirin were enrolled in this retrospective cross-sectional study. Treatment response and side effects were compared.


Among all naive patients, 82.0% achieved SVR, 5.4% were resistant to therapy and 11.0% withdrew the treatment. Relapse was seen in 12.2% of naive patients who finished the course of treatment. RVR and EVR were seen in 67.7% and 90.6% of naive patients, respectively. Patients divided into two groups. Group A consists of 247 patients treated with Peginterferon-alpha-2a and group B 42 patients treated with Peginterferon-alpha-2b. No significant difference in treatment response was observed between naive patients of the two groups. The rates of arthralgia/myalgia, alopecia, pruritus, insomnia, dyspnea and anorexia were higher in group A and the rates of dermal problems, coryza and bleeding were higher in group B. In a subgroup analysis, the two kinds of Peginterferon-alpha-2a available in Iran were compared. Rapid and early viral responses and relapse rates were lower in the one made in Iran and the long-term responses were not different. The rates of arthralgia/myalgia, fever, alopecia, pruritus, insomnia, dyspnea, anorexia, cough, headache and abdominal pain were higher and the rates of irritability and coryza were lower in the one made in Iran.


There was no significant difference in the efficacy of Peginterferon-alpha-2a and Peginterferon-alpha-2b in Iranian patients. Physicians might choose the treatment regimen for every individual concerning the differences in side effects of Peginterferons.


Hepatitis C; Iran; Peginterferon alfa-2a; Peginterferon alfa-2b

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