Eight-week regimen of antiviral combination therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin for patients with chronic hepatitis C with hepatitis C virus genotype 2 and a rapid virological response

Department of Gastroenterology, Ogaki Municipal Hospital, Ogaki, Japan.
Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver (Impact Factor: 4.41). 05/2008; 29(1):120-5. DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2008.01736.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It remains unclear how we can shorten the treatment duration of antiviral combination therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 infection who achieved a rapid virological response (RVR).
We compared the efficacy of antiviral combination therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin for 8 vs. 24 weeks for the treatment of patients with HCV genotype 2 infection and with RVR.
Sixty-one patients were enrolled. Serum HCV RNA was not detected at 4 weeks after the start of treatment in 32 patients with an RVR. These 32 patients were randomly assigned to 8-week (n=15) or 24-week (n=17) treatment regimens. Patients in the 8-week group who relapsed underwent a 24-week retreatment.
No significant difference in patient characteristics was observed between the 8- and the 24-week treatment groups. A sustained virological response (SVR) was seen in five of 15 patients (33.3%) in the 8-week treatment group and 14 of 17 (82.4%) in the 24-week treatment group; the rate was significantly higher in the 24-week treatment group (P=0.0140). Nine of 10 relapsed patients in the 8-week treatment group underwent a 24-week retreatment, and seven achieved an SVR.
An 8-week regimen of combination antiviral therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin yielded an increase in the relapse rate, indicating the limitation of a reduction of treatment below 12 weeks in patients with genotype 2, after RVR.

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