Background: Elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represent an understudied population, and little is known regarding the predictive factors for sustained virological response (SVR) to antiviral therapy in these patients. Aims: To evaluate the efficacy of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin therapy in chronic HCV patients aged 65 years, and identify pre- and on-treatment predictors of SVR. Methods: We studied 57 patients aged ≥65 years who underwent PEG-IFN and ribavirin treatment, evaluating the SVR rate and its association with pre-treatment demographic, clinical, biochemical, and virological parameters. Furthermore, we assessed whether 12-week serum HCV-RNA assessment might predict SVR. Results: A SVR was obtained in 25 patients (45%). The only pre-treatment predictor of SVR was HCV genotype 2 and 3 (P = 0.02). A positive serum HCV-RNA or a decline in viral load ≤2log 10 at week 12 had 100% negative predictive value for SVR. No major liver-related events or deaths occurred during therapy. Treatment was discontinued due to side effects-mainly cardiovascular-in 10 patients (17%). Conclusion: Pre- and on-treatment virological parameters can be used to identify elderly patients who are more likely to obtain a SVR to standard-of-care antiviral therapy for chronic HCV infection.
- Hepatitis C virus
- Pegylated interferon
- Sustained virological response
ASJC Scopus subject areas