Durability of a sustained virological response in chronic hepatitis C patients treated with pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin.Korean J Hepatol 2011; 17(3):183-8KJ
The reappearance rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA after a sustained virological response (SVR) have been reported to be 1-2%. We investigated the reappearance rate of HCV RNA after SVR in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients treated with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin.
In total, 292 CHC patients who achieved an SVR after PEG-IFN and ribavirin treatment were included. They were treated with subcutaneous injections of either PEG-IFN-α 2a or 2b plus ribavirin orally. Liver function tests and qualitative HCV RNA assays were performed every 6 months during the follow-up period after an SVR.
Among the 292 patients, 224 (genotype 1, 92; genotype non-1, 132) were followed up for more than 6 months after SVR. These 224 patients were aged 48.1±11.5 years (mean±SD), and 129 of them were male. The median follow-up duration was 18 months (range 6-60 months). The reappearance rate of HCV RNA during follow-up was 0%. Two patients who achieved an SVR developed hepatocellular carcinoma during the follow-up period.
An SVR was maintained in all CHC patients treated with PEG-IFN plus ribavirin during a median follow-up of 18 months. However, a screening test for hepatocellular carcinoma is needed for patients with an SVR.