Effectiveness of leukocyte interferon in patients affected by HCV-positive mixed cryoglobulinemia resistant to recombinant alpha-interferon

C. Mazzaro, R. Colle, S. Baracetti, F. Nascimben, F. Zorat, G. Pozzato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Interferon is the first-choice therapy for HCV-positive mixed cryoglobulinemia, but only a small fraction of the patients show long-term recovery from the disease. In non-responders or relapsers, the second-line therapy (high dose interferon) generally is not effective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of leukocyte interferon as a second-line therapy in patients who are non-responders or relapsers to a first course of recombinant interferon. Methods. Twenty-eight patients with HCV-positive mixed cryoglobulinemia were enrolled. In each case the HCV-RNA and HCV genotype, as well as the usual laboratory parameters, were determined before, at the end of therapy and 1 year after the end of therapy. All patients were treated following the same schedule: leukocyte interferon 3,000,000 three times a week for one year. Results. Only 5 patients obtained complete recovery from viral infection as well as from all signs and symptoms of the disease. Most patients (80%) experienced relief from clinical symptoms without recovery from HCV replication. Responders to the second interferon course were "relapsers" to the first treatment. No patient considered as a "non-responder" showed complete remission from the disease after the second treatment. Conclusions. A second leukocyte interferon course could be useful for patients affected by mixed cryoglobulinemia who relapsed after a first course of recombinant interferon therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Leukocyte interferon
  • Mixed cryoglobulinemia
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Rheumatology


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