[Experiences in antiviral treatment of chronic viral hepatitis B and C in Hungary (1998-2004)].Orv Hetil 2007; 148(18):819-26OH
In the past decade several multicentre, prospective, randomised trials revealed a significant progress in the therapy for chronic viral hepatitis, but limited and controversial data are available regarding the real value of the antiviral treatment in the everyday routine clinical praxis.
A nation-wide retrospective analysis has been made of the antiviral therapy for patients with hepatitis B and C, who represented the entire patient population necessitating treatment in Hungary during a seven-year period. In addition, results of a prospective study for chronic hepatitis C patients were also presented.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
A total of 220 patients with chronic hepatitis B treated with standard interferon alpha (112), pegylated interferon alpha-2a (23), or lamivudine (85) were investigated and assessed for the HBeAg seroconversion and/or undetectable HBV-DNA. Out of 2442 chronic hepatitis C patients, 333 were treated with standard interferon monotherapy, 1122 with standard interferon + ribavirin and 987 with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination for 6-12 months. In a prospective study, 69 patients with chronic hepatitis C were enrolled and treated with pegylated interferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin. The rate of sustained virological response, the predictors of outcome and the adverse effects of treatment were evaluated.
For HBV patients standard IFN provided 31%, PEG-IFN 30% and lamivudine 31-33% sustained virological response rate, respectively. In chronic hepatitis C, a continuous improvement was noted in sustained virological response, from 13% by interferon monotherapy, to 31% by pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination, in the nation-wide retrospective study, while even a 48% sustained virological response was achieved in the prospective trial. The most important predictors of outcome were the 4-week "rapid" and the 12-week "early" virological responses, then the female sex, age, BMI and adherence. The most frequent complications of the antiviral treatment were cytopenias, haemolysis and depression, 9% of patients experienced adverse effects.
The efficacy of antiviral treatment unlike HBV infection, in chronic HCV hepatitis gradually improved in our every-day clinical praxis, but the results are far poorer than those achieved in a prospective study. To manage the growing populations of hard-to-treat patients with chronic viral hepatitis, there is a need for more effective treatment modalities, including optimized, individualized dosing and novel antivirals.