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, 6 (1), 98-106

Efficacy and Tolerability of Peginterferon Alpha Plus Ribavirin in the Routine Daily Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Patients in Korea: A Multi-Center, Retrospective Observational Study


Efficacy and Tolerability of Peginterferon Alpha Plus Ribavirin in the Routine Daily Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Patients in Korea: A Multi-Center, Retrospective Observational Study

Sang Hoon Park et al. Gut Liver.


Background/aims: We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of peginterferon plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients under real life setting in Korea.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 758 CHC patients treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin between 2000 and 2008 from 14 university hospitals in the Gyeonggi-Incheon area in Korea.

Results: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 was detected in 61.2% of patients, while genotype 2 was detected in 35.5%. Baseline HCV RNA level was ≥6×10(5) IU/mL in 51.6% of patients. The sustained virological response (SVR) rate was 59.6% regardless of genotype; 53.6% in genotype 1 and 71.4% in genotype 2/3. On multivariate analysis, male gender (p=0.011), early virological response (p<0.001), genotype 2/3 (p<0.001), HCV RNA <6×10(5) IU/mL (p=0.005) and adherence to the drug >80% of the planned dose (p<0.001) were associated with SVR. The rate of premature discontinuation was 35.7%. The main reason for withdrawal was intolerance to the drug due to common adverse events or cytopenia (48.2%).

Conclusions: Our data suggest that the efficacy of peginterferon and ribavirin therapy in Koreans is better in Koreans than in Caucasians for the treatment of CHC, corroborating previous studies that have shown the superior therapeutic efficacy of this regimen in Asians.

Keywords: Chronic hepatitis C; Korean; Pegylated interferon alpha; Ribavirin.

Conflict of interest statement

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Overall treatment response irrespective of hepatitis C virus genotype. The rates of early virological response (EVR), end-of-treatment response (ETR), and sustained virological response (SVR) were 69.1%, 73.5%, and 59.6%, respectively.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Comparison of sustained virological response (SVR) rates according to baseline characteristics and on-treatment factors. The SVR rates were significantly better in chronic hepatitis C patients infected with genotype 2/3 (A), low pre-treatment viral load (B), male gender (C), age less than 40 years (D), and less advanced fibrosis on histology (E). During treatment, achievement of early virological response (EVR) (F) and adherence (a cumulative drug dose greater than 80% of the planned dose) (G) were associated with better SVR rate.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
The association between rapid virological response (RVR) and sustained virological response (SVR) was analyzed in 193 patients. The patients who showed RVR had significantly higher rates of SVR than those who did not, irrespective of genotype (A). When analyzed according to hepatitis C genotype, the association between RVR and SVR remained significant in genotype 1 (B) and genotype 2/3 (C).

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