Background: The recommended treatment for patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 2 (HCV2) is pegylated interferon (peginterferon) and ribavirin for 24 weeks.
Aim: To assess whether a shorter 16-week treatment is as effective as a standard 24-week treatment.
Methods: Patients with HCV2 infection were randomised in a 1:2 ratio to either 16 weeks (n = 50) or 24 weeks (n = 100) of treatment with peginterferon α-2a (180 μg/week) and weight-based ribavirin 1000–1200 mg/day, with a 24-week follow-up period. A rapid virological response (RVR) was defined as seronegative for HCV RNA at 4 weeks of treatment, and the primary end point, sustained virological response (SVR), as seronegative for HCV RNA at the 24-week follow-up.
Results: The rate of RVR and SVR was 86% (43/50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 76% to 96%) and 94% (47/50, CI 87% to 100%), respectively, in the 16-week group, which was comparable to 87% (87/100, CI 80% to 94%) and 95% (95/100, CI 91% to 99%) in the 24-week group. Patients with RVR had a significantly higher SVR rate than patients without RVR in both 16-week (100% vs 57%, p = 0.015) and 24-week groups (98% vs 77%, p = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that RVR and age were independent factors associated with SVR. Both treatment arms were equally well tolerated. The incidence of alopecia was significantly higher in the 24-week group (49%) than in the 16-week group (20%, p = 0.001).
Conclusion: 16 weeks and 24 weeks of peginterferon treatment with weight-based ribavirin at a dose of 1000–1200 mg/day provided equal efficacy in patients with HCV2 who achieved RVR at 4 weeks.
- CHC, chronic hepatitis C
- ETVR, end-of-treatment virological response
- HCV, hepatitis C virus
- RVR, rapid virological response
- SVR, sustained virological response
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.