Monotherapy with peginterferon alpha-2b {12 kDa} for chronic hepatitis C infection in patients undergoing haemodialysis

Trop Gastroenterol. Jan-Mar 2007;28(1):16-8.


Background: A combination of Peginterferon and Ribavirin is the standard treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C viral infection (HCV). Ribavirin is contraindicated in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF). Conventional Interferon monotherapy is effective in around 30% of such patients. There is scanty data on the use of Peginterferon monotherapy in them.

Methods: We describe our preliminary experience of monotherapy with Peginterferon alpha- 2b {12 kDa} (Peg-IFN) for HCV patients undergoing haemodialysis for CRF. They were treated with Peg-IFN 1 microg/kg body weight subcutaneously once a week for 24 weeks. In all patients, clinical (age, sex, mode of acquiring HCV, pattern of haemodialysis) and virological (HCV RNA quantitative-PCR and genotype) profile was noted at baseline. Early virological response at 12 weeks (EVR), end-of-treatment virological response at 24 weeks (ETVR) and sustained virological response after 6 months of stopping treatment (SVR) were noted during the follow-up period.

Results: The clinical and virological characteristics of patients were as follows: Of a total number of 6 patients, 5 were male and 1 was female with an age range of 35 to 62 years. The duration of haemodialysis was from between 5 and 12 months before the start of treatment and its frequency lay between 1 and 3 times a week. The mode of acquiring HCV was blood transfusion (100%). All 6 cases suffered from chronic hepatitis. The genotype distribution was genotype 3 in 3 (50%), genotype 1 in 1 (16.7%) and genotype none of 6 in 2 (33.3%) patients. All the patients (100%) completed treatment. EVR was seen in all 6 patients (100%). ETVR was seen in 5 of 6 patients (83.3%). A follow-up period of more than 1 year was available in 4 patients. 3 of these 4 patients (75%) had SVR. A virological response was maintained in all 3 (100%) patients with SVR even after 6 months of renal transplantation.

Conclusion: Peg-IFN monotherapy is safe and effective in patients with HCV who are on haemodialysis for CRF.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • RNA, Viral
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • peginterferon alfa-2b