Interferon versus steroids in patients with hepatitis C virus-associated cryoglobulinaemic glomerulonephritis

C. Mazzaro, G. Panarello, S. Carniello, A. Faelli, G. Mazzi, M. Crovatto, S. Baracetti, F. Nascimben, F. Zorat, G. Pozzato, L. Faccini, L. Campanacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims. The association between mixed cryoglobulinaemia, cryoglobulinaemic glomerulonephritis, and chronic hepatitis C virus infection has recently been described. The renal disease had usually been treated with immunosuppressive therapy, but, given the presence of viral infection, this therapy is no longer recommended. In this study, we compare steroid vs interferon therapy in a group of patients affected by hepatitis C virus-positive cryoglobulinaemic glomerulonephritis in the stationary phase. Patients/Methods. The diagnosis of cryoglobulinaemic glomerulonephritis was made bearing in mind standard criteria. Patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups receiving oral prednisone 0.2 mg/kg/die for 6 months (6 patients, group A) or lymphoblastoid interferon 3 MU, three times a week for 6 months (7 patients, group B). Hepatitis C virus-RNA was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and hepatitis C virus genotype according to Okamoto. Hepatitis C virus-RNA quantitation was performed by competitive polymerase chain reaction. Results. The 2 groups were comparable in terms of age and severity of kidney failure. All genotypes of hepatitis C virus were found with a prevalence of Type 1b. In group A, 4 patients showed a partial response; in group B, 1 patient achieved complete remission, 4 a partial response, 2 patients in both groups showed no response. At the end of the treatment, all patients in both groups relapsed. Only 1 patient in group B became hepatitis C virus-RNA negative, and recovered from cryoglobulinaemic glomerulonephritis. Conclusions. Interferon seems to be an effective drug in the treatment of cryoglobulinaemic glomerulonephritis, but dosage and length of treatment still need to be addressed by large multicentre studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-715
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Alpha-interferon
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Membrano-proliferative glomerulonephritis
  • Mixed cryoglobulinaemia
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interferon versus steroids in patients with hepatitis C virus-associated cryoglobulinaemic glomerulonephritis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this