Resolution of acute hepatitis C after therapy with natural beta interferon

Lancet. 1991 Oct 12;338(8772):914-5. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(91)91774-o.


To test whether interferon can prevent acute non-A, non-B hepatitis from becoming chronic, a prospective controlled trial was conducted in 25 patients; 11 were treated for an average of 30 days with a mean of 52 megaunits of interferon and 14 acted as controls. 4 patients in the treatment group who continued to have raised serum aminotransferase concentrations after a year's follow-up were given a second course of interferon. Follow-up at 3 years has revealed that all but 1 of those treated showed normal serum aminotransferase, whereas only 3 controls showed such change (p less than 0.02). Serum hepatitis C virus RNA became undetectable in 10 of 11 treated and in only 1 of 12 control patients, which suggests that interferon prevents the progression of acute non-A, non-B hepatitis to chronicity by eradicating HCV.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis C / blood
  • Hepatitis C / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Recurrence


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • RNA, Viral
  • Interferon-beta
  • Alanine Transaminase