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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1995 Feb;7(2):165-8.

Interferon-alpha can be used successfully in patients with hepatitis C virus-positive chronic hepatitis who have a psychiatric illness.

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1
Oklahoma Transplant Institute, Baptist Medical Center of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City 73112, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether individuals with concurrent active psychiatric disease and chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be treated safely and effectively with interferon-alpha.

DESIGN:

Prospective, open label study.

SETTING:

Tertiary referral hospital.

PATIENTS:

Thirty-one consecutive patients with co-existent chronic HCV and a psychiatric illness.

INTERVENTIONS:

Interferon-alpha was administered at doses of either 5 MU three times per week for 6 months (n = 17) or 5 MU daily for 6 months (n = 14).

METHODS:

HCV-RNA in serum was measured using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Serum alanine aminotransferase levels were assessed and liver biopsy was performed before and after 6 months of treatment and again after 6 months of follow-up.

RESULTS:

Twenty-nine of the 31 patients completed 6 months of therapy. Two patients discontinued therapy after 2 and 3 months of treatment. Serum alanine aminotransferase levels returned to normal in 22 (71%) patients. Fifteen (48%) of the 31 patients cleared HCV-RNA from their serum. Only four patients experienced a worsening of their psychiatric illness during treatment. Interferon therapy was discontinued in two of these patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with a co-existent psychiatric illness and chronic HCV can be treated successfully with interferon-alpha with the active participation of a psychiatrist and the maintenance of psychotropic drug therapy during interferon treatment.

PMID:
7712309
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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