Hyporesponsiveness to PegIFNα2B plus ribavirin in patients with hepatitis C-related advanced fibrosis

Gian Maria Prati, Alessio Aghemo, Maria Grazia Rumi, Roberta D'Ambrosio, Stella De Nicola, Maria Francesca Donato, Elisabetta Degasperi, Massimo Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & Aims: The success of pegylated-interferon (PegIFN)/ribavirin (Rbv) therapy of chronic hepatitis C is compromised by liver fibrosis. Whether fibrosis equally affects the two PegIFNα-based therapies is unknown. To assess the response to the two PegIFN regimens in patients with different degree of liver fibrosis. Methods: A sub-analysis of the MIST study: 431 consecutive naïve patients randomly assigned, based on HCV genotype, to receive either (A) PegIFNα2a 180 μg/wk plus daily Rbv 800-1200 mg or (B) PegIFNα2b 1.5 μg/kg/week plus daily Rbv 800-1200 mg, were stratified according to Ishak staging (S) into mild (S0-S2) or moderate (S3, S4) fibrosis and cirrhosis (S5, S6). Results: In A the sustained virological response (SVR) rates were not significantly influenced by fibrosis stage (71% in S0-S2, 66% in S3, S4, 53% in S5, S6, p = 0.12), compared to B where the SVR rates differed according to fibrosis stage (65%, 46%, and 38%, p = 0.004, respectively). This was even more so in HCV-1/4 patients treated with PegIFNα2b where the SVR rates were twice as many in S0-S2 vs. S ≥3 (44% vs. 22%, p = 0.02), while in A the SVR rates were similar between the two fibrosis subgroups (S0-S2: 47% vs. S ≥3: 48%, p = 0.8). By logistic regression analysis genotype 1/4 and lack of rapid virological response were independent predictors of treatment failure in both treatment groups, while S ≥3 fibrosis was associated to PegIFNα2b treatment failure, only (OR 2.83, 95% CI 1.4-5.68, p = 0.004). Conclusions: Liver fibrosis was an independent moderator of treatment outcome in patients receiving PegIFNα2b, not in those receiving PegIFNα2a.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Liver fibrosis
  • Pegylated interferon
  • Ribavirin
  • Sustained virological response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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