No Difference in Effectiveness of 8 vs 12 Weeks of Ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir for Treatment of Hepatitis C in Black Patients

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun;16(6):927-935. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.03.003. Epub 2018 Mar 11.


Background & aims: Treatment with the combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir for 12 weeks has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection; some patients can be treated with an 8-week course. Guidelines recommend a 12-week treatment course for black patients, but studies have not compared the effectiveness of 8 vs 12 weeks in black patients who are otherwise eligible for an 8-week treatment regimen.

Methods: We conducted an observational study of Kaiser Permanente Northern California members with HCV genotype 1 infection who were eligible for 8 weeks of treatment with ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (treatment-naïve, no cirrhosis, no HIV infection, level of HCV RNA <6 million IU/mL) and were treated for 8 or 12 weeks from October 2014 through December 2016. We used χ2 analyses to compare sustained virologic response 12 weeks after the end of treatment (SVR12) among patients treated for 8 vs 12 weeks, and adjusted Poisson models to identify factors associated with receipt of 12 weeks of therapy among patients eligible for 8 weeks.

Results: Of 2653 patients eligible for 8 weeks of treatment with ledipasvir and sofosbuvir, 1958 (73.8%) received 8 weeks of treatment and 695 (26.2%) received 12 weeks; the proportions of patients with SVR12 were 96.3% and 96.3%, respectively (P = .94). Among 435 black patients eligible for the 8-week treatment regimen, there was no difference in the proportions who achieved an SVR12 following 8 vs 12 weeks' treatment (95.6% vs 95.8%; P = .90). Male sex, higher transient elastography or FIB-4 scores, higher INR and level of bilirubin, lower level of albumin, obesity, diabetes, and ≥15 alcohol drinks consumed/week were independently associated with receiving 12 weeks of treatment among patients eligible for the 8-week treatment regimen, but were not associated with reduced SVR12 after 8 weeks of treatment.

Conclusion: In an observational study of patients who received ledipasvir and sofosbuvir treatment for HCV genotype 1 infection, we found that contrary to guidelines, 8-week and 12-week treatment regimens do not result in statistically significant differences in SVR12 in black patients. Patient characteristics were associated with receipt of 12-week regimens among patients eligible for 8 weeks, but were not associated with reduced SVR12 after 8 weeks. Shorter treatment courses might therefore be more widely used without compromising treatment effectiveness.

Keywords: Direct-acting Antiviral Agents; Effectiveness; Race; Sustained Virologic Response.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Benzimidazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Black People
  • California
  • Female
  • Fluorenes / administration & dosage*
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / classification
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sofosbuvir / administration & dosage*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Fluorenes
  • ledipasvir
  • Sofosbuvir