Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 58-65

Sustained virologic response to peginterferon α-2a and ribavirin in 335 patients with chronic hepatitis C: A tertiary care center experience

Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Hamad Al Ashgar
Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine (MBC: 46), King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, P. O. Box: 3354, Riyadh 11211
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.39619

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Background/Aim: This retrospective study assessed the efficacy, safety, and the predictors of sustained viral response (SVR) to a 48-week-course of peginterferon α-2a (Pegasys) and ribavirin combination therapy in 335 consecutive Saudi patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Materials and Methods: Clinical, biochemical, and virological parameters were collected at time 0 (pretreatment) and at 12, 24, 48, and 72 weeks posttreatment. The mean SD age was 49.1 13.0 years; 229 (68.4%) were males, mean SD body mass index was 27.8 7.4, 85 (25.4%) were diabetic, 25 (7.5%) had renal impairment, 136 (40.6%) had previously received interferon ribavirin therapy, and 247 (73.7%) underwent pretreatment liver biopsy. Patients with genotypes 1, 2 or 3, 4 and mixed genotype were 60 (22.15%), 30 (11.0%), 148 (54.4%), and 34 (12.5%), respectively. Results: Early viral response (≥2-log10 HCV-RNA decline 12 weeks posttreatment) was achieved in 253 (75.3%). Patients who completed 48 weeks of treatment were 292 (87.1%); of these, 121 (75.6%) achieved ETVR, 161 (55.1%) continued to have SVR and 60 (20.5%) had a viral relapse following end-of-treatment response, that is 48.1 and 17.9% of all patients (n = 335), respectively. Nonresponders (NR) were 71 (24.3%) patients and 43 (12.8%) were unable to complete treatment (due to side effects or loss to follow up). Compared to the relapsers, patients with SVR were significantly younger ( P = 0.000), nondiabetics ( P = 0.015), had higher serum albumin ( P = 0.007), had less pretreatment inflammatory grade ( P = 0.011), infected with genotypes 2 or 3 ( P = 0.014), and treatment-naοve patients ( P = 0.001). However, in stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis, only treatment naivetι and low pretreatment inflammatory score were the independent predictors of SVR ( P = 0.005 and P = 0.018, respectively). Conclusion: Combination therapy, if tolerated and completed, is effective in treating chronic HCV patients, especially those with no previous interferon therapy and lower pretreatment inflammatory grade.

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