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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2012 Feb 28;18(8):800-5.
doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i8.800.

Vitamin D Improves Viral Response in Hepatitis C Genotype 2-3 Naïve Patients

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Vitamin D Improves Viral Response in Hepatitis C Genotype 2-3 Naïve Patients

Assy Nimer et al. World J Gastroenterol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Aim: To examine whether vitamin D improved viral response and predicted treatment outcome in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2-3.

Methods: Fifty patients with chronic HCV genotype 2-3 were randomized consecutively into two groups: Treatment group [20 subjects, age 48 ± 14 years, body mass index (BMI) 30 ± 6, 65% male], who received 180 μg pegylated α-interferon-2a plus oral ribavirin 800 mg/d (Peg/RBV), together with oral vitamin D3 (Vitamidyne D drops; 2000 IU/d, 10 drops/d, normal serum level > 32 ng/mL) for 24 wk; and control group (30 subjects, age 45 ± 10 years, BMI 26 ± 3, 60% male), who received identical therapy without vitamin D. HCV RNA was assessed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Undetectable HCV RNA at 4, 12 and 24 wk after treatment was considered as rapid virological response, complete early virological response, and sustained virological response (SVR), respectively. Biomarkers of inflammation were measured.

Results: The treatment group with vitamin D had higher BMI (30 ± 6 vs. 26 ± 3, P < 0.02), and high viral load (> 400,000 IU/mL, 65% vs. 40%, P < 0.01) than controls. Ninety-five percent of treated patients were HCV RNA negative at week 4 and 12. At 24 wk after treatment (SVR), 19/20 (95%) treated patients and 23/30 (77%) controls were HCV RNA negative (P < 0.001). Baseline serum vitamin D levels were lower at baseline (20 ± 8 ng/mL) and increased after 12 wk vitamin D treatment, to a mean level of (34 ± 11 ng/mL). Logistic regression analysis identified vitamin D supplement [odds ratio (OR) 3.0, 95% CI 2.0-4.9, P < 0.001], serum vitamin D levels (< 15 or > 15 ng/mL, OR 2.2, P < 0.01), and BMI (< 30 or > 30, OR 2.6, P < 0.01) as independent predictors of viral response. Adverse events were mild and typical of Peg/RBV.

Conclusion: Low vitamin D levels predicts negative treatment outcome, and adding vitamin D to conventional Peg/RBV therapy for patients with HCV genotype 2-3 significantly improves viral response.

Keywords: Genotype 2-3; Hepatitis C; Peg-interferon alpha 2a; Sustained viral response; Vitamin D.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Rate of rapid virologic response, early virologic response and sustained viral response in the treatment (n = 20) and control (n = 30) groups. Rapid virologic response (RVR) was defined as undetectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA at 4 wk during treatment. Early virologic response (EVR) was defined as undetectable HCV RNA at 12 wk during treatment. Sustained viral response (SVR) was defined as undetectable HCV RNA at 24 wk after cessation of therapy.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Vitamin D serum levels before and 12 wk after initiation of antiviral treatment (n = 30) and vitamin D supplementation (n = 20). Percentage change was +37%.

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