Combined treatment with pegylated interferon (α-2b) and ribavirin in the acute phase of hepatitis C virus recurrence after liver transplantation

Lluís Castells, Víctor Vargas, Helena Allende, Itxarone Bilbao, José Luis Lázaro, Carlos Margarit, Rafael Esteban, Jaime Guardia

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133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background/Aims: The efficacy and safety of treatment with pegylated interferon α-2b (Peg-Intron,™ 1.5 μg/kg) and ribavirin (400-800 mg) in the acute phase of recurrent HCV after LT is presented. Methods: Twenty-four patients (17 men) transplanted for HCV-associated cirrhosis (genotype 1b) were treated for at least 6 months and compared with 24 consecutive transplant patients (16 men) without antiviral therapy (controls). Results: At completion of treatment, 14/24 treated patients (58%) achieved HCV-RNA negativity, compared to none of controls (P<0.0001). Sustained virological response (SVR) occurred in 8/23 treated patients (34.7%) who reached week 24 after treatment and none of controls (P<0.005). At 12 weeks after treatment, 15/24 patients (62.5%) had an early virological response (EVR) (seven tested HCV-RNA negative). SVR was associated with absence of corticosteroid bolus administration (P=0.01), presence of EVR (P=0.002) and absence of cytomegalovirus infection (P=0.001). Haematological adverse effects included anaemia, 17/24 cases (71%) and leukopenia, 23/24 cases (96%). One patient presented mild acute rejection that resolved by adjusting immunosuppressive dose. Conclusions: Treatment with pegylated interferon α-2b plus ribavirin in the acute phase of HCV reinfection yielded an EVR of 62.5% and a SVR of 34.7%. The combination was safe, with a low rate of therapy withdrawal. © 2005 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005

Keywords

  • Acute HCV reinfection
  • Antiviral therapy
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Post-liver transplantation

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