Background: A head-to-head comparison of the 72-week and 48-week anti-HCV therapies in slow responders with genotype 1 infection has been performed in several randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
Objectives: This review aimed at summarizing and pooling the results of these studies.
Materials and methods: RCTs that had evaluated the 72-week vs. 48-week anti-HCV therapy (peginterferon and ribavirin) in slow responders with HCV genotype 1 infection were systematically identified. A meta-analysis was performed using the random effects model. Heterogeneity in results was assessed on the basis of the Q statistics, and publication bias was evaluated by using Harbord's modified test. The end point was set as a sustained virological response (SVR).
Results: Data of 1206 subjects were retrieved from 7 studies. A total of 631 patients had received extended therapy. Slow virological responders who received the 72-week therapy had a significantly higher probability of achieving SVR than their counterpartswho received the 48-week therapy [RR = 1.44 (95% CI, 1.20-1.73)]. With regard to publication biases, the heterogeneity in funnel plots was not significant (P = 0.19, I2 = 30%, PHarbord = 0.1).
Conclusion: Our meta-analysis showed that the 72-week therapy with peginterferon and ibavirin is significantly superior to the standard 48-week therapy in slow responders th HCV genotype 1 infection.
Keywords: Genotype; Hepatitis C virus; Treatments.