Objectives: Early hepatitis C viral (HCV) kinetics following pegylated interferon-alpha (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin help to assess treatment in the Western world. Whether this functions in Taiwanese patients remains unknown. Studying the early HCV kinetics in Taiwanese patients may clarify this issue.
Methods: Six chronic hepatitis C patients were enrolled. A PEG-IFN-alpha dose was administered at week 1, then it was administered weekly with daily ribavirin for 24 weeks. Serum HCV RNA levels were determined frequently during the trial and qualitatively at week 49. Kinetic parameters epsilon (effectiveness at inhibiting viral production)and delta (loss rate of infected cells) were estimated from viral loads and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) kinetics, respectively.
Results: All serum HCV RNA levels became undetectable at week 12. The epsilon ranged from 0.4128 to 0.9904 and delta from 0.0019 to 0.1245. The log values of viral load differences between day 7 and 14 ranged from 0.15 to 1.21. Only 1 patient had an abnormal ALT level at week 49.
Conclusions: Viral kinetic parameters in Taiwanese patients were similar to those in Western studies. However, the early viral decline pattern and viral negativity rate in Taiwanese patients might be different from Caucasian patients. Further large-scale studies to clarify this issue are ongoing.
Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.