A randomised study of peginterferon and ribavirin for 16 versus 24 weeks in patients with genolype 2 chronic hepatitis C

Ming-lung Yu; Chio-yen Dai; Jee-fu Huang; Nai-jen Hou; Li-po Lee; Ming-yen Hsieh; Chang-fu Chiu; Zu-yau Lin; Shinn-cherng Chen; Ming-yuh Hsieh; Liang-yen Wang; Wen-yu Chang; Wan-long Chuang
April 2007
Gut;Apr2007, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p553
Academic Journal
Background: The recommended treatment for patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 2 (HCV2) is pegylated interferon (peginterferon) and ribavirin for 24 weeks. Aim: To assess whether a shorter 1 6-week treatment is as effective as a standard 24-week treatment. Methods: Patients with HCV2 infection were randomised in a 1:2 ratio to either 16 weeks (n=50) or 24 weeks (n = 100) of treatment with peginterferon α-2a (180 µg/week) and weight-based ribavirin 1000-1200 mg/day, with a 24-week follow-up period. A rapid virological response (RVR) was defined as seronegative for HCV RNA at 4 weeks of treatment, and the primary end point, sustained virological response (SVR), as seronegative for HCV RNA at the 24-week follow-up. Results: The rate of RVR and SVR was 86% (43/50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 76% to 96%) and 94% (47/ 50, CI 87% to 100%), respectively, in the 16-week group, which was comparable to 87% (87/100, CI 80% to 94%) and 95% (95/100, CI 91% to 99%) in the 24-week group. Patients with RVR had a significantly higher SVR rate than patients without RVR in both 16-week (100% vs 57%, p = 0.015) and 24-week groups (98% vs 77%, p=0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that RYR and age were independent factors associated with SVR. Both treatment arms were equally well tolerated. The incidence of alopecia was significantly higher in the 24-week group (49%) than in the 16-week group (20%, p=0.001). Conclusion: 16 weeks and 24 weeks of peginterferon treatment with weight-based ribavirin at a dose of 1000-1200 mg/day provided equal efficacy in patients with HCV2 who achieved RVR at 4 weeks.


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