Alpha but not beta interferon is useful in chronic active hepatitis due to hepatitis C virus: A prospective, double-blind, randomized study

Erica Villa, Paolo Trande, Antonella Grottola, Paola Buttafoco, Anna Maria Rebecchi, Tommaso Stroffolini, Francesco Callea, Annalisa Merighi, Lorenzo Camellini, Patrizia Zoboli, Rossella Cosenza, Lucia Miglioli, Paola Loria, Rossella Iori, Nicola Carulli, Federico Manenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Interferon-α has been widely used in chronic hepatitis C, but controlled studies with intramuscular interferon-p are lacking. We therefore performed a prospective, double-blind, randomized study comparing intramuscular IFN-α and -β in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Sixty patients were randomly assigned to receive 3 MU thrice weekly intramuscularly of either recombinant IFN-α or leukocyte IFN-α or fibroblast IFN-β for six months. Nine of 20 patients (45.0%) in the recombinant IFN, 5/19 (26.3%) in the leukocyte IFN, and none in the IFN-α group had a complete response during therapy (recombinant IFN vs IFN-α: P <0.01). Only in IFN-α-treated patients, was infection with a single HCV genotype (type 2a or 2b) associated with significantly better long-term outcome. IFN-α is useful in chronic hepatitis C while intramuscular IFN-α interferon does not exert any beneficial effect. This is probably due to an insufficient bioavailability of IFN-α when given intramuscularly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1247
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • HCV genotype
  • Interferon-α
  • Interferon-β
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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