PEG-IFNalpha/RBV combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C patients increases serum ferritin level while it improves sustained viral response rate.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kinki University School of Medicine, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka, Japan.
Intervirology (Impact Factor: 1.77). 01/2010; 53(1):60-5. DOI: 10.1159/000252786
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated the significance of serum ferritin levels in pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and examined its correlation with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels during therapy and response to the therapy.
A total of 175 patients with CHC received the combination therapy. Correlations between serum ferritin levels and serum ALT levels at 12 and 24 weeks of therapy were examined. Differences in serum ferritin levels during therapy between patients with sustained viral response (SVR) and non-SVR were also examined.
Only 24 (13.7%) and 20 (11.4%) patients showed elevated serum ALT levels (> or = 70 IU/l) at 12 and 24 weeks of therapy, respectively. There was no correlation between serum ferritin levels and ALT levels. Ninety-five (54.3%) of 175 patients achieved SVR. Serum ferritin levels increased dramatically in both SVR and non-SVR groups after starting the therapy and were significantly higher in the SVR group throughout the therapy.
Serum ferritin level increases during PEG-IFN and RBV combination therapy; however, it did not correlate with either serum ALT level or the total dose of RBV. Higher serum ferritin levels during combination therapy appear to be associated with favorable therapeutic response.

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