[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Evidence indicates that insulin resistance results in poor sustained viral response (SVR) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Metformin is an oral hypoglycemic agent which improves insulin resistance. METHODS We sought to determine if the addition of metformin to the treatment regimen could improve SVR in treatment-naïve CHC patients in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. We randomized 140 consecutive CHC patients to receive either metformin 500 mg three times a day or placebo in addition to pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV). Only treatment-naïve subjects aged between 15 and 65 years of age were included. SVR was defined as no detectable HCV RNA six months after the end of treatment.Subjects who received at least one dose of PEG-IFN were included in the finala nalysis. RESULTS The SVR rate in the metformin group was 75% versus 79% in controls (intention-to-treat) which was not significantly different. Also, the difference between the placebo and metformin group was not significant in subsets of different genotypes or those with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) levels greater than 2 or body mass index greater than 25. The most common complaint was gastrointestinal discomfort (13% in metformin group versus 4% in controls; p=0.002) that lead to discontinuation of metformin in 8 participants. CONCLUSION Although triple therapy with metformin, PEG-IFN and RBV is relatively well tolerated, the addition of metformin did not significantly improve viral response in CHC patients.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Middle East journal of digestive diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been involved in impaired immunity and may have a pivotal role in persistence of viral infections. Objective: To develop a simple and reliable in-house three color flow cytometery of peripheral blood to understand the role of HCV infection in the increase of Tregs. Methods: The level of naturally occurring CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (nTregs) in 20 chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients was compared to those of 15 healthy individuals by flowcytometry. In a different approach we performed permeabilization and intracellular staining before surface staining which allows the preservation of the surface molecules in the combined detection process and results in the normal frequency of nTregs in blood. Results: Using the optimized method, it was shown that a significantly higher proportion of nTregs in the total CD4+ T cell population was seen in the peripheral blood of chronic HCV patients (0.83 ± 0.21%, p=0.05) as compared to controls (0.26 ± 0.1, p=0.05). Conclusions: In accordance with other studies, we showed that HCV infection induces a dramatic increase in Tregs, which might contribute to the immune response failure during HCV infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of locally produced pegylated interferon-alpha2a in treatment-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis C.
All treatment-naïve patients diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C who referred to two university based outpatient clinics in Tehran from December 2007 to May 2008 were enrolled. Exclusion criteria included the presence of a debilitating disease, decompensated cirrhosis, or refusal to participate in the study. Patients were treated with 180 microg pegylated interferon-alpha2a (Pegaferon) weekly and 800 - 1200 mg ribavirin daily for 24 or 48 weeks depending on genotype and weight. Viral and biochemical response and adverse drug reactions were recorded.
A total of 108 patients were enrolled; 63 with genotype 1 and 45 with genotypes 2 and 3. The mean age of the patients was 39 years (range: 19 - 65). Ninety-seven patients completed the study and 76 achieved sustained viral response. The sustained viral response among patients completing the study was 67% for genotype 1 and 95% for genotypes 2 and 3. Adverse events were well tolerated and none led to discontinuation of treatment, however dose adjustment was necessitated in 16 patients. The most common adverse events were fatigue (73.5%), poor appetite (66.2%), and feverishness (57.4%). The mean hemoglobin drop was 2.9 g/dL.
Locally produced PEG-IFN in Iran is safe and effective in treatment-naïve chronic hepatitis C.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · Archives of Iranian medicine