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Hepatogastroenterology. 1997 Mar-Apr;44(14):484-91.

Parameters predicting response to alpha-interferon treatment in chronic hepatitis C.

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  • 1Institut für Immunologie und Molekulare Genetik, Karlsruhe, Germany.



Sustained response to alpha-interferon treatment for chronic hepatitis C is seen in only 25% of cases. Therefore, it is desirable to define pretreatment factors predicting responders.


Forty-nine patients with chronic hepatitis C were treated with a standard alpha-interferon regimen (3 x 3 MU s.c./week). Demographic, biochemical and immunological parameters, and HCV genotypes were obtained prior to initiation of treatment and evaluated for their value in predicting response to alpha-interferon therapy.


Response, as defined by normalization of ALT, was 71% during interferon therapy and sustained response after discontinuation of interferon 24.5%. Patients infected with HCV-genotype 1b had significantly more often "community-acquired" disease. Their outcome was worse with a response rate of 44% during therapy and a sustained response of 12.5%, as compared to 87% and 27% respectively in patients infected with genotypes other than 1b. On multivariate analysis, absence of cirrhosis, HCV-genotype other than 1b, higher ALT levels and higher numbers of CD8 positive liver infiltrates were found to be predictors of response during alpha-interferon therapy.


Response to alpha-interferon therapy seems to be influenced both by viral virulence factors and by the intensity of the host immune response to HCV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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