Predictive value of on-treatment response during full-dose antiviral therapy of patients with hepatitis C virus cirrhosis and portal hypertension

E. G. Giannini, M. Basso, V. Savarino, A. Picciotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Giannini EG, Basso M, Savarino V, Picciotto A (University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy). Predictive value of on-treatment response during full-dose antiviral therapy of patients with hepatitis C virus cirrhosis and portal hypertension. J Intern Med 2009; 266 537-546.Objective. Therapy with full-dose pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and weight-based ribavirin has been evaluated in limited series of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and advanced disease. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of full-dose antiviral therapy in patients with compensated, fully developed cirrhosis, and assessed the predictive value of on-treatment virological response. Design and subjects. We studied 85 HCV-positive cirrhotic patients (82 Child-Pugh class A; 41 treatment-naïve) who were treated with PEG-IFN α-2a (1.5 μg kg-1week-1) or α-2b (180 μg week-1) and weight-based ribavirin for 24 (genotype 2-3) or 48 (genotype 1-4) weeks. Forty-three patients were genotype 1 (51%), and HCV-RNA was >600 000 IU mL-1 in 53 patients (62%). Prevalence of portal hypertension and diabetes was 81% and 18% respectively. Results. Sustained virological response (SVR) was obtained in 22 patients (26%). Positive serum HCV-RNA at week 4 and week 12 of therapy predicted nonresponse (NR) in 85% (52/61) and 100% (38/38) of patients, respectively. Treatment was discontinued due to adverse events in 14 patients (16%). Genotype 1-4 (P = 0.02) and HCV-RNA >600 000 IU mL-1 (P = 0.02) were the baseline parameters significantly associated with lack of SVR, whilst positive serum HCV-RNA at week 12 was the only parameter independently associated with NR (100% negative predictive value). Conclusion. Full-dose antiviral therapy with PEG-IFN and ribavirin can be safely carried out even in patients with compensated, fully established cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Selecting patients on the basis of HCV genotype and viral load, and application of on-treatment stopping rule may help rationalize treatment in patients who are unlikely to obtain SVR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-546
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Volume266
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Peg-interferon
  • Portal hypertension
  • Ribavirin
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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