A multicenter survey of re-treatment with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C in Japan

Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine National Hospital Organization Osaka National Hospital, Osaka Toranomon Hospital Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Japanese Red Cross Musashino Hospital, Tokyo Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Department of Gastroenterology, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa Shin Kokura Hospital, Kitakyushu Kansai Rosai Hospital, Amagasaki, Japan.
Hepatology Research (Impact Factor: 2.74). 01/2013; 43(1):35-43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2012.01056.x
Source: PubMed


This study aimed to clarify the factors associated the efficacy of re-treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG IFN) plus ribavirin combination therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C who had failed to respond to previous treatment.

One hundred and forty-three patients who had previously shown relapse (n = 79), non-response (n = 34) or intolerance (n = 30) to PEG IFN plus ribavirin were re-treated with PEG IFN plus ribavirin.

Twenty-five patients with intolerance to previous treatment completed re-treatment and the sustained virological response (SVR) rates were 55% and 80% for hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 and 2, respectively. On re-treatment of the 113 patients who completed the previous treatment, the SVR rates were 48% and 63% for genotype 1 and 2, respectively. Relapse after previous treatment and a low baseline HCV RNA level on re-treatment were associated with SVR in genotype 1 (P < 0.001). Patients with the interleukin-28B major genotype responded significantly better and earlier to re-treatment, but the difference in the SVR rate did not reach a significant level between the major and minor genotypes (P = 0.09). Extended treatment of 72 weeks raised the SVR rate among the patients who attained complete early virological response but not rapid virological response with re-treatment (72 weeks, 73%, 16/22, vs 48 weeks, 38%, 5/13, P < 0.05).

Relapse after previous treatment and a low baseline HCV RNA level have predictive values for a favorable response of PEG IFN plus ribavirin re-treatment for HCV genotype 1 patients. Re-treatment for 72 weeks may lead to clinical improvement for genotype 1 patients with complete early virological response and without rapid virological response on re-treatment.

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