Twenty-three out of 40 patients affected by chronic HCV hepatitis responded (i.e. aminotransferases returned to normal) after 6-month treatment with 6 MU tiw of recombinant α-interferon 2α (IFN); in 11 (Group 1), the remission was maintained for a mean observation time of 33.15 months (range 20-50) after withdrawal of therapy; 12 (Group 2) relapsing after IFN withdrawal, were treated again obtaining in 10 a second response. Seventeen did not respond (Group 3). Serum markers of connective tissue metabolism (laminin and aminoterminal peptide of type III procollagen -NPIIIP-) were assayed in all patients before treatment and every 6th month, to evaluate long-term effects of IFN therapy. In non-responders, NPIIIP after treatment was not different from baseline, while laminin significantly increased at 6 and 12 months; in responders, NPIIIP decreased significantly after therapy, maintaining values lower than baseline on long-term observation. Laminin decreased significantly six months after the end of therapy and remained lower than baseline in all sustained responders. In this group, the drop in laminin was progressive, whereas in Group 2, laminin showed only a slight decrease on long-term control. Our data show that these serum markers persistently decrease in sustained responders to IFN, while in relapsed cases, prolonged therapy is needed to obtain minor effects on laminin; on the contrary, in non-responders, NPIIIP remains unchanged and laminin significantly increases, suggesting a persistence of active fibrogenesis.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Italian Journal of Gastroenterology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
- Hepatitis C
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