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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Interferon alpha in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in children: a metanalysis

Review published: 2003.

Bibliographic details: Di Ciommo V, Russo P, Rava L, Caprino L.  Interferon alpha in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in children: a metanalysis. Journal of Viral Hepatitis 2003; 10(3): 210-214. [PubMed: 12753340]

Abstract

Children with chronic hepatitis C may be ideal candidates for treatment with interferon alpha (IFNalpha) as they have liver disease at an early stage. However, adverse drug reactions need to be considered. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of literature on interferon therapy of chronic hepatitis C in children, and to perform a meta-analysis of pooled data. A computerized search gave 18 articles on IFNalpha therapy in children with chronic hepatitis C; after exclusion of uncontrolled trials and of trials including patients with comorbidities, data from two studies could be pooled (48 patients). The outcomes assessed were biochemical, defined as normalization of alanine transaminase, and virologic, defined as HCV-RNA loss, both sustained at 24 months after enrollment. Results of the studies were homogenous. Risk difference was 37% (95%CI: 12.9-61) in favour of IFNalpha treated children for sustained biochemical response, and 36.8% (95%CI: 14.3-59.3) in favour of treated children for sustained HCV clearance, respectively. The differences were highly significant (P = 0.007 and P = 0.004, respectively). The histological end-point, as well as side-effects, could not be analysed, due to lack of data. This review identifies the poor methodology of the majority of the published trials. The study provides support for the efficacy of IFNalpha in improving both biochemical and virologic outcomes in chronic hepatitis C in children, but evidence is confined to these surrogate end-points.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

PMID: 12753340

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