Homocysteine levels and sustained virological response to pegylated-interferon α2b plus ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C: A prospective study

Guglielmo Borgia, Ivan Gentile, Giuliana Fortunato, Francesco Borrelli, Salvatore Borelli, Maurizio De Caterina, Maria Donata Di Taranto, Maria Simone, Federico Borgia, Chiara Viola, Laura Reynaud, Raimondo Cerini, Lucia Sacchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Chronic hepatitis C affects about 3% of the world's population. Pegylated interferon (IFN) α plus ribavirin is the gold standard treatment. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase(MTHFR) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of homocysteine. MTHFR gene polymorphisms and high levels of homocysteine are associated with a high degree of steatosis and fibrosis, conditions associated with a low sustained virological response (SVR) rate. Aims: To evaluate whether MTHFR polymorphisms and homocysteine levels are predictors of the outcome of treatment in 102 prospectively enrolled patients with chronic hepatitis C naive to treatment. Methods: Patients were treated with pegylated interferon α-2b plus ribavirin. All patients underwent blood tests, assessment of homocysteine, vitamin B12, folate, hepatitis C virus (HCV)-RNA levels, screening for MTHFR gene polymorphisms and liver ultrasound examination. Results: Homocysteine levels were deranged (>16 μmol/L) in 10.5% of MTHFR wild-type patients vs 40.3% of non-wild-type patients (P = 0.015). Homocysteine levels were 14.4 μmol/L in SVR patients and 15.5 μmol/L in non-SVR patients (P = 0.049). The SVR rate was 40.0% in MTHFR wild-type patients, 52.0% in heterozygote mutants and 39.3% in homozygote mutants (P = 0.467). At logistic regression analysis, genotypes 2 and 3 (odds ratio: 12.328, 95% confidence interval: 3.390-44.837, P = 0.0001), homocysteine

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-252
Number of pages5
JournalLiver International
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • HCV
  • Homocysteine
  • MTHFR
  • Pegylated interferon
  • Ribavirin
  • SVR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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