Korean J Hepatol.  2011 Sep;17(3):183-188. 10.3350/kjhep.2011.17.3.183.

Durability of a sustained virological response in chronic hepatitis C patients treated with pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Inje University Pusan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. yjyh0105@dreamwiz.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS
The reappearance rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA after a sustained virological response (SVR) have been reported to be 1-2%. We investigated the reappearance rate of HCV RNA after SVR in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients treated with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin.
METHODS
In total, 292 CHC patients who achieved an SVR after PEG-IFN and ribavirin treatment were included. They were treated with subcutaneous injections of either PEG-IFN-alpha 2a or 2b plus ribavirin orally. Liver function tests and qualitative HCV RNA assays were performed every 6 months during the follow-up period after an SVR.
RESULTS
Among the 292 patients, 224 (genotype 1, 92; genotype non-1, 132) were followed up for more than 6 months after SVR. These 224 patients were aged 48.1+/-11.5 years (mean+/-SD), and 129 of them were male. The median follow-up duration was 18 months (range 6-60 months). The reappearance rate of HCV RNA during follow-up was 0%. Two patients who achieved an SVR developed hepatocellular carcinoma during the follow-up period.
CONCLUSIONS
An SVR was maintained in all CHC patients treated with PEG-IFN plus ribavirin during a median follow-up of 18 months. However, a screening test for hepatocellular carcinoma is needed for patients with an SVR.

Keyword

Durability; Sustained virological response; Chronic hepatitis C; Pegylated interferon; Ribavirin
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