Treatment of advanced hepatitis C with a low accelerating dosage regimen of antiviral therapy

Hepatology. 2005 Aug;42(2):255-62. doi: 10.1002/hep.20793.


Patients with advanced hepatitis C virus (HCV) are at risk of death and are candidates for liver transplantation. After transplantation, HCV recurs and may rapidly progress to cirrhosis and graft loss. Treatment is needed to prevent progression of disease and minimize recurrence after liver transplantation. We evaluated the effectiveness, tolerability, and outcome of a low accelerating dose regimen (LADR) of antiviral therapy in the treatment of patients with advanced HCV. One hundred twenty-four patients (male/female ratio 81:43; age range 37-71 years; 70% genotype 1) were treated with LADR. Sixty-three percent had clinical complications of cirrhosis (ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, varices, variceal hemorrhage, encephalopathy). The mean Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) score was 7.4 +/- 2.3, and the mean MELD score was 11.0 +/- 3.7. Fifty-six patients were CTP class A, 45 were class B, and 23 were class C. Forty-six percent were HCV RNA-negative at end of treatment, and 24% were HCV RNA-negative at last follow-up. Sustained virological response (SVR) was 13% in patients infected with genotype 1 HCV and 50% in patients infected with non-1 genotypes (P < .0001). Non-1 genotype, CTP class A (genotype 1 only), and ability to tolerate full dose and duration of treatment (P < .0001) were predictors of SVR. Twelve of 15 patients who were HCV RNA-negative before transplantation remained HCV RNA-negative 6 months or more after transplantation. In conclusion, in a sizeable proportion of patients with advanced HCV, LADR may render blood free of HCV RNA, stabilize clinical course, and prevent posttransplantation recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / classification
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Recurrence
  • Ribavirin / administration & dosage
  • Ribavirin / adverse effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • RNA, Viral
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ribavirin