This paper presents the preliminary results of a study designed to evaluate the effects of alpha interferon in chronic hepatitis B. After six months' treatment with interferon alfa-2b (5 million units (MU), three times weekly) 15 of 25 (60%) patients achieved seroconversion of hepatitis B e antigen, 17 (68%) normalised alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, and 15 (60%) showed a decrease in the inflammatory reaction on liver histology. No seroconversions occurred in the control group (n = 10), and none of the control patients achieved a normal ALT or showed a reduction in the inflammatory reaction. Adverse effects were experienced by most patients who received interferon but none warranted stopping the treatment.
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