Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 129-134

Interferon-ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C: Efficacy in Saudi patients

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pathology, Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Abdulkareem Mohammad Sandokji
Department of Medicine, Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, P 0. Box 7897, Riyadh 11149
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19861816

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Background: Hepatitis C affects 2% of Saudi population. Previous local trials showed low response to interferon monotherapy for six-months. Aim: To evaluate biochemical and virological response of interferon-ribavirin combination on naive Saudi patients infected with HCV. Methods: A prospective single armed study was conducted at Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital from July 1999 to July 2002 for fifty patients who have hepatitis C virus (HCV-PCR) positive and chronic hepatitis on liver biopsy were started on the combination therapy for one­year. All had HCV-PCR at the end of therapy and at six months follow-up. Results: Thirty-one patients (62%) normalized their ALT levels, and 25 patients (50%) became HCV-PCR negative achieving end-of-treatment response (ETR). The sustained virological response (SR) was achieved in 19 patients (38%) at six months follow-up after stopping the treatment. Side effects were mainly flu like syndrome in 36 patients (72%). Conclusion: Combination therapy of interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin is an effective treatment modality for HCV infected Saudi patients, with tolerable side effects. Our virological response rates are compatible with international published literatures

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