Estimates of HCV-1 patients attaining rvr following dual therapy with peg-interferon and ribavirin

A. Andriulli, A. Iacobellis, M. R. Valvano, F. Spirito, A. Ippolito, F. Bossa, F. Terracciano, R. Fontana, G. Niro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Given the significant side-effects and healthcare costs associated with telaprevir- or boceprevir-combination therapy, identifying patients likely to respond to dual therapy peg-interferon (Peg-IFN)/ribavirin is highly desirable. Since the perception of how large the pool of patients who may achieve rapid virologic response (RVR) is vaguely ascertained, we searched the literature for this information. Methods: Studies on patients treated with Peg-IFN/ribavirin were identified by searching MEDLINE and analyzed by meta-analysis. The primary end point was weighted estimates of RVR. The influence on race/ethnicity, baseline viremia, type of Peg-IFN, ribavirin dosage, and significant hepatic fibrosis on the results was evaluated. Results: Across 38 studies on 13,219 patients, the fraction of RVR patients was 19.6 %. The only baseline factor influencing RVR was race/ethnicity, with higher rates in Asian (26.7 %) and Caucasian patients (22.5 %). Of the 1,735 RVR patients, 85.1 % attained sustained virologic response (SVR). In these, SVR was influenced by ribavirin dose (86.8 vs. 72.8 % for high or low), type of Peg-IFN (91.8 % for alpha-2b vs. 82.9 % for alpha-2a), and treatment duration (91.7 % for 48 weeks vs. 79.4 % for 24 weeks). Conclusions: One fifth to one fourth of hepatitis C virus genotype 1 (HCV-1) patients can be safely treated with dual therapy of Peg-IFN/ribavirin, and may be spared from cost and inconvenience of regimens considering the addition of HCV protease inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371-1382
Number of pages12
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Chronic viral hepatitis
  • Ethnicity
  • HCV
  • HCV infection
  • Peg-interferon
  • Race
  • Ribavirin
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology


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