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, 10 (4), 617-23

Low-Dose Pegylated Interferon α-2b Plus Ribavirin for Elderly and/or Cirrhotic Patients With Genotype 2 Hepatitis C Virus

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Low-Dose Pegylated Interferon α-2b Plus Ribavirin for Elderly and/or Cirrhotic Patients With Genotype 2 Hepatitis C Virus

Hideyuki Tamai et al. Gut Liver.

Abstract

Background/aims: This study aimed to predict sustained viral response (SVR) to low-dose pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin of elderly and/or cirrhotic patients with genotype 2 hepatitis C virus (HCV) using viral response within 2 weeks.

Methods: Low-dose PEG-IFN-α-2b plus ribavirin was administered to 50 elderly and/or cirrhotic patients with genotype 2 HCV for 24 weeks. The dynamics of HCV RNA and HCV core antigen levels within 2 weeks were measured.

Results: The patients' median age was 66 years. There were 21 male and 29 female patients. The median baseline HCV RNA level was 5.7 log IU/mL. Rapid viral response was achieved in 17 patients (34%), SVR in 28 (56%), and two (4%) discontinued treatment. Univariate analysis of factors contributing to SVR showed significant differences for sex, baseline virus level, and response within 4 weeks. When 40 fmol/L was set as the cutoff value for the core antigen level at 1 week, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy for predicting SVR were 93%, 75%, 84%, 88%, and 85%, respectively.

Conclusions: Low-dose PEG-IFN plus ribavirin was a safe and costeffective treatment for elderly and/or cirrhotic patients with genotype 2 HCV, and the viral response within 2 weeks was a useful predictor of SVR.

Keywords: Elderly; Hepacivirus; Liver cirrhosis; Pegylated interferon; Ribavirin.

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