Comparison of sleep disorders in chronic hepatitis C patients treated with interferon-based therapy and direct acting antivirals using actigraphy

Hepatol Res. 2016 Dec;46(13):1358-1366. doi: 10.1111/hepr.12694. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


This study aimed to compare the severity of sleep problems between chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients treated with interferon (IFN)-based triple therapy (pegylated [Peg]-IFN plus ribavirin [RBV] plus simeprevir [SMV]) and those who received IFN-free direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy.

Methods: Our study included 31 patients in group A (Peg-IFN/RBV/SMV combination therapy) and 41 patients in the group B (IFN-free DAA therapy). We prospectively compared the effect of each antiviral treatment regimen on sleep conditions between the two groups adding actigraphy data. Five parameters detected by actigraphy (objective assessment) and scores of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (subjective assessment, n = 30 [group A] and 35 [group B]) were estimated. The causal effect of each therapy on sleep disturbances was evaluated at baseline and at 4 weeks after commencement of therapy.

Results: In terms of baseline characteristics, no significant differences between groups were found, except for hepatitis C virus genotype. In group A, sustained virological response 12 rate was 83.9% (26/31), whereas in group B it was 95.1% (39/41). In group A, each score of waking after sleep onset, activity index, wake episodes, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index at 4 weeks significantly increased compared to those evaluated at baseline. In group B, scores of all variables except for sleep episodes at 4 weeks did not significantly change compared to those at baseline.

Conclusion: Interferon-based triple therapy in patients with CHC may cause significant sleep disturbances. Interferon-free DAA therapy is less likely to deteriorate sleep conditions in patients with CHC.

Keywords: actigraphy; chronic hepatitis C; direct acting antivirals; interferon; sleep disorders.