TITLE

Long-Term Follow-Up of Previous Hepatitis C Virus Positive Nonresponders to Interferon Monotherapy Successfully Retreated with Combination Therapy: Are They Really Cured?

AUTHOR(S)
Ciancio, Alessia; Smedile, Antonina; Giordanino, Chiara; Colletta, Cosimo; Croce, Guido; Pozzi, Massimo; Cariti, Giuseppe; Macor, Antonio; Biglino, Alberto; Di Napoli, Angelo; Tappero, Gian Franco; Andreoni, Massimo; Manca, Aldo; Prandi, Giancarlo; Calleri, Guido; Orsi, Pier Giulio; Ciccone, Giovannino; Rizzetto, Mario; Saracco, Giorgio
PUB. DATE
August 2006
SOURCE
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Aug2006, Vol. 101 Issue 8, p1811
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether in chronic hepatitis C-positive patients who failed to respond to interferon (IFN) monotherapy a sustained response obtained with retreatment using the combination therapy of IFN + ribavirin can be safely considered to reflect eradication of the infection. METHODS: Prospective follow-up of a cohort of 97 patients who responded to retreatment with different regimens of IFN + ribavirin after failing to respond to a first IFN monotherapy course. The patients were followed throughout 7 yr of follow-up with determinations of HCV viremia every 6 months. RESULTS: At the end of the follow-up, 11 patients (11.3%) showed a viremic reappearance. HCV late relapse rates were 0%, 13%, 20%, and 12% in patients retreated, respectively, with 3 MU IFN + ribavirin for 12 months (Group 1), 5 MU IFN + ribavirin for 12 months (Group 2), 3 MU IFN + ribavirin for 6 months (Group 3), and 5 MU IFN + ribavirin for 6 months (Group 4) (Group 2 vs Group 3, p= 0.005). The virologic relapses occurred within 2 yr from therapy withdrawal. Among patients with genotype 1 and 4, the long-term response was significantly higher in Group 2 than in Group 3 (15% vs 3%, p= 0.03). In patients with genotype 2 and 3, the long-term virological response was not affected by the different regimens. CONCLUSIONS: Nonresponders to IFN monotherapy who achieve a sustained virologic response after retreatment with IFN + ribavirin stand a discrete risk of HCV reactivation within 2 yr after therapy.
ACCESSION #
21785056

 

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