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Scand J Infect Dis. 1997;29(1):17-22.

Genotype, viral load and age as independent predictors of treatment outcome of interferon-alpha 2a treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Construct group.

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Department of Medicine, Aker University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Patients with chronic hepatitis C respond differently when treated with interferon. We randomized 116 patients with chronic hepatitis C in order to compare two dosage regimens of recombinant interferon alpha 2a:3 MIU x 3 per week for 6 months (arm A) or 6 MIU x 3 per week for 3 months and then 3 MIU x 3 per week for 3 months (arm B). There were no significant differences concerning outcome between the two dose regimens: sustained clearance of HCV viremia 6 months after the end of treatment was obtained in 12/59 (20%) in group A compared with 18/57 (32%) in group B (p = 0.24). In patients with genotype 1a, 4/31 (13%), in genotype 1b, none of 9 (0%), 9/15 (60%) in genotype 2, and 17/58 (29%) in genotype 3, showed sustained clearance of HCV viremia 6 months after the end of treatment (p = 0.002). In a stepwise logistic regression analysis, only pretreatment viral load (p = 0.0001), genotype (p = 0.001) and age (p = 0.04) were identified as independent predictors of sustained clearance of HCV viremia. Liver histology as assessed by Knodell index was significantly improved in patients with sustained HCV RNA response 6 months after the end of treatment (5.2 +/- 2.2 vs 2.6 +/- 2.2, p < 0.001), but not in responders with relapse or in non-responders. In conclusion, stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that viral load, HCV genotype and age were the only independent predictors for sustained HCV RNA response.

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