Kinetics of hepatitis C virus (HCV) during pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and early monitoring of viral decline were recently described to predict treatment outcomes and in turn reduce the course of treatment, adverse effects and cost. However, there is limited (if any) information on the viral dynamics of HCV-4. Our aim is to follow the HCV-RNA kinetics during PEG-IFN alpha 2a and ribavirin therapy and the best time for predicting sustained viral response (SVR) in genotype-4 patients. Serum HCV-RNA levels before initial dosing (baseline level) and at 24 h, week 1, week 4, week 12, week 24, week 48 and week 72 were assessed in 84 HCV genotype-4 patients treated weekly by PEG-IFN alpha 2a and daily ribavirin. At the end of treatment, out of the 84 treated patients, 19 (22.6%) were non-responders while 65 (77%) showed end-of-treatment response (ETR). However, 8 patients relapsed (9.5%), thus the SVR was observed in 57 patients (67.9%). Younger patients were more likely to attain SVR, where the odds of SVR increased by a factor of 0.94 for each year increase in age (95% CI: 0.90-0.99, P = 0.019). Although a significant negative correlation between stage of fibrosis and rate of viral decline at weeks 1 and 4 (P < 0.005 and 0.001, respectively) was seen, neither fibrosis stage (χ(2) = 3.4882, P > 0.1) nor grade of inflammation (χ(2) = 0.0057, P > 0.1) significantly predicted response to treatment. Non-responders had no or only a limited decline at week 1 and week 4, whereas sustained virological responders had a significant decline at both week 1 and week 4. Area under the (receiver operating characteristic) curve (AUC) revealed that week 12 is better than any other time point in predicting the SVR (AUC = 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94-1.01), (sensitivity 98.3%; 95% CI: 90.7-99.9), (specificity 88.5%; 95% CI: 71.0-96.0), positive predictive value of 94.9% and negative predictive value of 95.8%. A drop of more than 1.17 log viral load at week 1 and viral clearance or decline >3 log were considered as the earliest predictors of SVR. In genotype-4 patients, while failure to achieve an EVR at week 12 predicts non-response, an RVR at week 1 and week 4 98% guaranteed SVR. These findings further re-enforce the value of week 12 in the course of IFN treatment. Genotype-4 patients who show significant viral clearance (>1.17 log viral load) by the first week of treatment and viral clearance >3 log by week 4 are expected to show SVR and should therefore be assigned to a shorter drug regimen lasting for 24 weeks. Those unfortunate cases who do not achieve viral clearance by week 1 or week 4 should not be deprived from the treatment but rather given more time till week 12 before being classified as non-responders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 4 is a common infection in Egypt and is the leading cause of liver disease.
To study the efficacy and safety of a novel 20 kD pegylated interferon alpha-2a derived from Hansenula polymorpha in combination with ribavirin for the treatment of Egyptian patients with genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C (CHC).
One hundred seven patients with genotype 4 CHC were involved in the present study. Liver biopsy was performed in all patients. All patients received a fixed weekly dose of 160 µg of a novel pegylated interferon in combination with ribavirin in standard and adjusted doses. Serum HCV RNA levels were assessed by a real-time sensitive polymerase chain reaction assay at four, 12, 48 and 72 weeks after the start of therapy. Patients demonstrating an early virological response (EVR) completed a 48-week course of treatment.
The overall sustained virological response (SVR) was 60.7%. The SVR in patients with a rapid virological response was significantly higher (91.7%) than in patients with complete EVR (67.74%) (P=0.033) and partial EVR (56.14%) (P=0.003). SVR was also significantly higher in patients with a low degree of liver fibrosis according to Metavir score (F1 and F2) (67.57%) compared with those with a high degree of liver fibrosis (F3 and F4) (45.45%) (P=0.017). The baseline viral load had no impact on SVR in the present series nor were any serious adverse events reported.
The novel pegylated interferon alpha-2a assessed in the present study was effective for the treatment of patients with genotype 4 CHC, and was safe and well tolerated.
Canadian journal of gastroenterology = Journal canadien de gastroenterologie 10/2010; 24(10):597-602. · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HCV has been classified into no fewer than six major genotypes and a series of subtypes. Each HCV genotype is unique with respect to its nucleotide sequence, geographic distribution, and response to therapy. Genotypes 1, 2, and 3 are common throughout North America and Europe. HCV genotype 4 (HCV-4) is common in the Middle East and in Africa, where it is responsible for more than 80% of HCV infections. It has recently spread to several European countries. HCV-4 is considered a major cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver transplantation in these regions. Although HCV-4 is the cause of approximately 20% of the 170 million cases of chronic hepatitis C in the world, it has not been the subject of widespread research. Therefore, this document, drafted by a panel of international experts, aimed to review current knowledge on the epidemiology, natural history, clinical, histological features, and treatment of HCV-4 infections.
Journal of Hepatology 12/2010; 54(6):1250-62. DOI:10.1016/j.jhep.2010.11.016 · 11.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed to assess differences in early viral dynamics following treatment with either peg-IFNalpha2a or peg-IFNalpha2b in combination with ribavirin in patients with chronic genotype 1b HCV infection.
Sixty-one patients in the peg-IFNalpha2a + ribavirin treatment (group alpha2a) and 88 patients in the peg-IFNalpha2b + ribavirin treatment (group alpha2b) were retrospectively analyzed. The early dynamics of HCV RNA over 12 weeks were evaluated. Sustained virological response (SVR) was defined as undetectable HCV RNA at week 24 after end of therapy. First- (day 0-1) and second-phase (day 1-28) viral decline rates were calculated in accordance with theoretical formulae.
Baseline HCV RNA concentrations were almost similar between the 2 groups. In group alpha2a, viral decline was significantly greater than in group alpha2b at weeks 4, 8, and 12. In group alpha2a, viral decline was significantly greater in SVR patients than in non-SVR patients at week 2, whereas significantly greater viral decline in SVR patients was found during weeks 1-12 in group alpha2b. The first-phase viral decline rate was significantly larger in group alpha2a than in group alpha2b (1.31 ± 0.84 vs. 0.70 ± 0.97 log IU/mL/day; p < 0.0001). Within SVR patients, first-phase viral decline rate was significantly larger in group α2a compared with group alpha2b (1.45 ± 0.85 vs. 0.78 ± 1.0 log IU/mL/day; p < 0.0001). Second-phase viral decline rate was comparable between the groups.
Peg-IFNalpha2a showed earlier viral decline than peg-IFNalpha2b and the difference was obvious, especially in the first-phase viral decline.
Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 12/2011; 17(12):CR687-91. DOI:10.12659/MSM.882127 · 1.43 Impact Factor
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