Influence of antiviral therapy in hepatitis C virus-associated cryoglobulinemic MPGN

Am J Kidney Dis. 2004 Apr;43(4):617-23. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2003.11.020.


Background: The influence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment on the course of HCV cryoglobulinemic membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) is controversial.

Methods: Twenty-five patients with nephrotic-range proteinuria, mixed cryoglobulinemia, MPGN proved by renal biopsy, and HCV infection were studied for their response to antiviral treatment.

Results: After first-line treatment with prednisone, furosemide, or plasmapheresis, antiviral therapy with standard or pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin was introduced in 18 patients. These patients were compared with 7 patients who did not receive antiviral treatment. Mean duration of antiviral treatment was 18 +/- 10 months, with a follow-up of at least 6 months after treatment withdrawal. HCV RNA clearance (sustained virological response) was achieved in 12 of 18 patients. Compared with values before antiviral therapy, a decrease in proteinuria was observed in sustained virological responders at the end of combination therapy, as well as at the end of follow-up (mean, 2.85 +/- 2.2 [SD] versus 1 +/- 1.4 and 0.4 +/- 0.8 g/d, respectively; P < 0.05). In sustained virological responders, cryoglobulin levels at the end of treatment (0.29 +/- 0.4 g/L) and end of follow-up (0.25 +/- 0.4 g/L) were decreased (P < 0.05) compared with pretreatment values (1.38 +/- 2.2 g/L). Conversely, no changes in serum cryoglobulinemia levels were observed in nonresponders or controls. Serum creatinine levels remained stable in the 18 patients with antiviral therapy, regardless of response to treatment.

Conclusion: Anti-HCV treatment improved HCV-associated cryoglobulinemic glomerulonephritis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cryoglobulinemia / drug therapy
  • Cryoglobulinemia / etiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative / drug therapy*
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative / etiology*
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha* / therapeutic use
  • Interferons / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ribavirin
  • Interferons
  • peginterferon alfa-2b
  • peginterferon alfa-2a