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, 12 (1), 31-40

[Peginterferon alfa-2a Plus Ribavirin for Initial Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C in Korea]

[Article in Korean]
  • PMID: 16565604

[Peginterferon alfa-2a Plus Ribavirin for Initial Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C in Korea]

[Article in Korean]
Hyuk Lee et al. Korean J Hepatol.


Background/aims: Combination therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin is a standard therapy for western patients with chronic hepatitis C; however, its efficacy remains unclear in East Asian patients. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of administering peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin in native Korean patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Methods: Seventy-five patients with detectable HCV RNA (52.0% male, median age: 50.8 years) were eligible for the study. The patients were treated with peginterferon alfa-2a 180 mcg/week plus ribavirin 800 mg/day for 24 weeks (for genotype non-1, n=46) or 1000-1200 mg/day for 48 weeks (for genotype 1, n=29). The early virologic response (EVR), the end of treatment virologic response (ETVR), the sustained virologic response (SVR), the biochemical response and the adverse event were analyzed.

Results: EVR was seen in 86.2% of the patients with genotype 1. The ETVR was 58.6% in the genotype 1 group and 84.8% in the genotype non-1 group (P=0.02). The overall SVR was 70.7%: 55.2% in the genotype 1 group and 80.4% in the non-1 group (P=0.04). The sustained biochemical response was 64.0%. Multivariate analysis showed that the baseline HCV RNA level (Odds ratio: 0.045, 95% CI: 0.011-0.183, P<0.001) and genotype (Odds ratio: 0.247, 95% CI: 0.063-0.969, P=0.045) had an independent effect on the SVR. Neutropenia, anemia, flu-like symptoms and itching were the common adverse events. Aggravated liver function led to discontinuation of therapy for six patients. Dose modification in twenty-nine patients was effective without producing a significant reduction of the SVR.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that the efficacy of peginterferon plus ribavirin therapy in Koreans is comparable to those from studies on Western patients as an initial treatment for chronic hepatitis C patients. The baseline HCV RNA level and the genotype can be significant factors influencing the SVR.

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