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Korean J Hepatol. 2011 Sep;17(3):220-225. English. Original Article.
Kim KH , Jang BK , Chung WJ , Hwang JS , Kweon YO , Tak WY , Lee HJ , Lee CH , Suh JI .
Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. jangha106@dsmc.or.kr
Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Daegu Catholic University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea.
Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Pegylated interferon (peginterferon) and ribavirin combination therapy is less effective and associated with a higher frequency of serious complications in chronic hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis than in noncirrhotic patients. This study evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of peginterferon and ribavirin treatment in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis. METHODS: Eighty-six patients with clinically diagnosed liver cirrhosis were treated with either peginterferon alpha-2a (n=51) or peginterferon alpha-2b (n=35) plus ribavirin. The sustained virologic response (SVR) and adverse effects were analyzed retrospectively. RESULTS: Of the 86 patients (55 males), 48 patients (55.8%) had HCV genotype 1 infection and 38 (44.2%) had genotype non-1 infection. The overall SVR rate was 34.9% (30/86), and the rates of SVR in the genotype 1 and non-1 patients were 20.8% (10/48) and 52.6% (20/38), respectively. The multivariate analysis revealed that having HCV genotype 1 (P=0.003) and high baseline viral load (>8.0x10(5) IU/mL, P=0.012) were the independent predictive factors for SVR failure. In 20.9% (18/86) of the patients, treatment was not completed due to adverse events (27.8%), loss to follow-up (50.0%), and other reasons (22.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Peginterferon and ribavirin combination therapy was relatively effective and feasible for clinically diagnosed HCV patients, especially in those with genotype non-1 infection and low baseline viral load.

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