Background: Medical ozone is more bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal than any other natural substance. Some studies proved that ozone infused into donated blood samples can kill viruses 100% of the time. Ozone, because of its special biologic properties, has theoretical and practical attributes to make it a potent hepatitis C virus (HCV) inactivator, which suggests an important role in the therapy for hepatitis C.
Aim: The study aim is to evaluate the role of ozone therapy in decreasing HCV ribonucleic acid (HCV RNA) load and its effect on the liver enzymes among patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Methods: This study included 52 patients with chronic hepatitis C (positive polymerase chain reaction [PCR] for HCV RNA and raised serum alanine transaminase [ALT] for more than 6 months). All patients were subjected to meticulous history taking and clinical examination. Complete blood count, liver function tests, and abdominal ultrasonography were requested for all patients. The ozone group included 40 patients who received major autohemotherapy, minor autohemotherapy, and rectal ozone insufflation. The other 12 patients (conventional group) received silymarin and/or multivitamins.
Results: There were significant improvements of most of the presenting symptoms of the patients in the ozone group in comparison to the conventional group. ALT and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels normalized in 57.5% and 60% in the ozone group, respectively, in comparison to 16.7% and 8% in the conventional group, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HCV RNA was negative among 25% and 44.4% after 30 and 60 sessions of ozone therapy, respectively, in comparison to 8% among the conventional group.
Conclusions: Ozone therapy significantly improves the clinical symptoms associated with chronic hepatitis C and is associated with normalized ALT and AST levels among a significant number of patients. Ozone therapy is associated with disappearance of HCV RNA from the serum (-ve PCR for HCV RNA) in 25%-45% of patients with chronic hepatitis C.