Hepatitis C minimal residual viremia (MRV) detected by TMA at the end of Peg-IFN plus ribavirin therapy predicts post-treatment relapse

Martina Gerotto, Francesca Dal Pero, Gladis Bortoletto, Alessia Ferrari, Roberta Pistis, Giada Sebastiani, Stefano Fagiuoli, Stefano Realdon, Alfredo Alberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background/Aims: Around 15-25% of chronic hepatitis C patients treated with Peg-IFN plus ribavirin become HCV-RNA negative by PCR during therapy but relapse after its withdrawal. We investigated whether minimal residual viremia (MRV) might be detected in these cases by Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA). Methods: Two hundred and ninety-two consecutive patients (143 HCV-1, 82 HCV-2, 56 HCV-3 and 11 HCV-4) were prospectively treated with a standard schedule of Peg-IFNα 2b plus ribavirin combination and end-of-therapy response was assessed by conventional PCR using 2 protocol serum samples obtained 6-8 h before the last two scheduled weekly injections of Peg-IFN. PCR negative samples were re-tested by TMA and the results were then correlated with the virological outcome after therapy withdrawal. Results: Among 208 patients who were repeatedly HCV-RNA negative by PCR at the end-of-therapy, 26 (12.5%) were found HCV-RNA positive by TMA. Twenty-two of them, (96%) were PCR-relapsers after therapy withdrawal, compared to only 14% of the 182 TMA negative patients (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • HCV relapsers
  • HCV-RNA
  • Hepatitis C
  • PEG-IFN plus ribavirin
  • TMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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