Early virological response in 1220 patients with HCV (genotype lb) chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis treated with PegInterferon plus Ribavirin

2011 Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine 49;2 (105-112)

There are over 5000 patients with genotype 1b HCV chronic infection in Romania on national waiting lists. This allowed us to evaluate the complete and partial early virological response rates (EVRc and EVRp), as well as the factors influencing the response rates to treatment. METHODS: PATIENTS: We studied 1220 treatment naive patients with HCV chronic hepatitis who started antiviral therapy during 2009. Mean age was 48 years and female gender was predominant (58%). Chronic hepatitis was documented by liver biopsy in 1129 patients (93%) or by non-invasive tests in 91 cases (7%). Most patients presented advanced liver disease (F3 + F4 Metavir = 62.3%). Viral load was over 400000 iu/mL in 61% patients and over 600000 iu/mL in 52% patients. Treatment was performed with peginterferon alpha-2a in 75.2% patients and with peginterferon alpha-2b in 24.8% patients, with comparative histology. The influence of histology, viral load, gender, age and type of peginterferon on the response rates to treatment was evaluated. RESULTS: EVRc was obtained in 76.6% patients, while 16.2% presented EVRp. From those with EVRp, 78.8% had undetectable viral load after 6 months of therapy. The nonresponder rate was 9.6%. EVRc was influenced by viral load and age, but not by fibrosis stage or type of interferon. CONCLUSIONS: We noticed a high rate of EVRc, which was not influenced by histology, gender or type of interferon. The number of nonresponders and of patients who interrupted therapy due to lack of compliance or adverse events was low.

Pubmed : 22303601