Treatment of chronic non-A,non-B hepatitis with recombinant human alpha interferon. A preliminary report

N Engl J Med. 1986 Dec 18;315(25):1575-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198612183152503.


We treated 10 patients who had chronic non-A,non-B hepatitis with recombinant human alpha interferon in varying doses (0.5 to 5 million units) daily, every other day, or three times weekly for up to 12 months. In 8 of the 10 patients, elevated serum aminotransferase levels decreased rapidly during therapy and eventually fell into the normal or nearly normal range. In two of these patients, the interferon therapy was stopped after four months, and in both cases, a prompt return of aminotransferase activities to pretreatment values occurred. Prolonged treatment was associated with a sustained improvement in aminotransferase levels; in three cases, biopsy specimens obtained after one year of therapy showed marked improvement in hepatic histology, even though low doses of alpha interferon had been used. These preliminary findings, although not adequately controlled, suggest that long-term, low-dose alpha interferon therapy may be effective in controlling the disease activity in some patients with chronic non-A,non-B hepatitis. A prospective controlled trial is now needed to assess the role of interferon therapy in this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / therapy*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / administration & dosage
  • Interferon Type I / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Transaminases / blood


  • Interferon Type I
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transaminases