The main therapeutic procedures and the clinical management of mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) have been the object of much debate. In the past, low dose steroids were usually used to control purpura, arthralgias, and weakness, while high dose steroids or cytotoxic drugs were used to treat renal involvement or hyperviscosity syndrome. After the discovery of the association between MC and HCV infection, the appropriateness of immunosuppressive drugs has been considered along with their risks. After several studies, authors have reported the efficacy of alfa-interferon (IFN) (a substance endowed with antiviral and anti-proliferative activity) in the inhibition of HCV replication and reduction of cryoglobulin activity. Unfortunately, only a minority of patients (10-20%) obtains a complete response, while the largest fraction does not respond or relapse at the end of the treatment. In addition, IFN is very expensive, associated with many side-effects, and must be administered under careful medical observation. This paper, spanning literature data and personal experience, reviews current knowledge in the use of IFN and emphasizes the importance of carefully selecting patients for treatment of this complex disease, as at the present such drugs are given up almost in all cases.
|Number of pages||5|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 2|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
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