A randomized trial of 24 versus 48 weeks of peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin in Egyptian patients with hepatitis C virus genotype 4 and rapid viral response

Trop Gastroenterol. Apr-Jun 2012;33(2):112-7. doi: 10.7869/tg.2012.27.

Abstract

Background and aim: Little data is available regarding the 24-week therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in Egyptian patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 4 infection. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of 24-week versus 48-week peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin therapy in patients with HCV genotype 4 infection with with rapid virological response.

Methods: This trial included 102 patients with HCV genotype 4 infection and low viral load. They were treated with peginterferon alpha-2a (180 microg/week) plus ribavirin. Patients (87/102) with a rapid virological response were randomized for a total treatment duration of 24 weeks (group A: 43) or 48 weeks (group B:44). Virological responses (EVR: early virological response, EOTR: end of treatment response, and SVR: sustained virological response) were assessed for each group.

Results: In group A, EVR was achieved in 37/43 (84%) patients, while EOTR was achieved in 34/43 (79%) patients and SVR in 30/43 (70%) patients. In group B, on the other hand EVR was achieved in 38/44 (84%) patients, while EOTR was achieved in 35/44 (80%) patients and SVR in 32/44 (73%) patients. No significant difference in SVR rates was observed between the two groups. The rate of adverse events was higher in group B, with lower adherence rates than group A.

Conclusions: In patients with chronic HCV genotype 4 infection with rapid virological response and low viral loads, a 24-week peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin therapy is as effective as a 48-week therapy with lower rate of adverse events.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiviral Agents / economics
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Egypt
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Interferon-alpha / economics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Polyethylene Glycols / economics
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / adverse effects
  • Recombinant Proteins / economics
  • Ribavirin / administration & dosage*
  • Ribavirin / adverse effects
  • Ribavirin / economics

Substances

  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • RNA, Viral
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ribavirin
  • peginterferon alfa-2a