This randomised, controlled trial was designed to assess the response to a nine month course of interferon (IFN) alfa-2b, starting with a higher than usual dose. Forty eight patients received IFN 5 million units (MU) three times a week for eight weeks followed by 3 MU three times weekly for seven months; 25 patients in the control group received no treatment. The overall response to treatment was 68.7%, an improvement over other studies, but the high rate of relapse (85% in patients who responded) suggested that a nine month treatment period was insufficient in most cases. Histological improvement was seen in more than 80% of responders to interferon, including a reduction in inflammatory activity, necrosis, and fibrosis.
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