Hepatitis C Viral Kinetics in Special Populations

Curr Hepat Rep. 2008;7(3):97-105. doi: 10.1007/s11901-008-0022-2.


Mathematical models of hepatitis C viral (HCV) kinetics provide a means of estimating the antiviral effectiveness of therapy, the rate of virion clearance and the rate of loss of HCV-infected cells. They have also proved useful in evaluating the extrahepatic contribution to HCV plasma viremia and they have suggested mechanisms of action for both interferon-α and ribavirin. Viral kinetic models can explain the observed HCV RNA profiles under treatment, e.g., flat partial response, biphasic and triphasic viral decay and viral rebound. Current therapy with (pegylated) interferon-α and ribavirin has a poorer success in patients having insulin resistance, hepatic fibrosis, African American ethnicity, HCV/HIV-coinfection, HCV genotype-1 and high baseline viral load. The use of mathematical modeling and statistical analysis of experimental data have been useful in understanding some of these treatment obstacles.