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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 22 (11), 1303-7

Serum Lipids in European Chronic HCV Genotype 1 Patients During and After Treatment With Pegylated interferon-α-2a and Ribavirin

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Serum Lipids in European Chronic HCV Genotype 1 Patients During and After Treatment With Pegylated interferon-α-2a and Ribavirin

Christian M Lange et al. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol.

Abstract

Aims: Chronic hepatitis C alters the host's lipid metabolism and hepatitis C virus (HCV) eradication may be followed by an increase of serum cholesterol to adverse levels. We therefore aimed to determine the impact of chronic hepatitis C and its treatment on circulating lipids in a large European cohort of HCV genotype 1 patients.

Methods: The serum lipid profile of 575 HCV genotype 1-infected patients was characterized before, during and after treatment with pegylated interferon-α-2a (180 μg/week) and ribavirin (1000-1200 mg/day) for 48 weeks within a randomized controlled clinical trial.

Results: Total baseline cholesterol levels were significantly higher in patients with sustained virologic response (SVR) compared to nonresponders/relapsers (177 vs. 167 mg/dl, P=0.01), and low-cholesterol levels were an independent negative predictor of SVR (P=0.084). During the antiviral treatment, cholesterol levels substantially decreased as a putative marker of interferon-activity, but rebounded above baseline in patients with SVR (177-188 mg/dl, P=0.02), and to baseline in nonresponders/relapsers. Proportions of patients with cholesterol (>240 mg/dl) at baseline and after HCV eradication were 4 and 6%, respectively. Significant differences of triglyceride levels in patients with and without SVR were only observed at follow-up (136 and 117 mg/dl, respectively, P=0.028) but not at baseline.

Conclusion: Our study reports a substantial pretreatment hypocholesterolemia in European HCV genotype 1 patients with nonresponse to interferon-α-based therapy and lower pretreatment cholesterol levels were an independent predictor of not attaining SVR. After treatment-induced HCV eradication median cholesterol levels increased above baseline, but the proportion of patients with high-risk cholesterol levels remained relatively low.

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