Treatment of hepatitis C virus carriers with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels with peginterferon α-2a and ribavirin: A multicentric study

Claudio Puoti, Adriano M. Pellicelli, Mario Romano, Fabrizio Mecenate, Riccardo Guarisco, Giorgio Barbarini, Ettore Mazzoni, Lucia Spilabotti, Lia Bellis, Federica Paglia, Angelo Barlattani, Antonio Picardi, Amerigo Paffetti, Maria Elena Bonaventura, Lorenzo Nosotti, Olga Mitidieri, Orlando Dell Unto, Roberto Villani, Chiara Dell Unto, Aldo MorroneFabrizio Soccorsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background/Aims: To evaluate, in clinical practice, the efficacy and safety of combined antiviral treatment in hepatitis C virus (HCV) carriers with normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. Methods: Eighty-eight HCV carriers with persistently normal ALT levels were enrolled. All patients received peginterferon (PEG-IFN) α-2a 180 mg once weekly plus ribavirin (RBV) 800 mg/day for 24 weeks (HCV-2 and -3) or 1000-1200 mg/day for 48 weeks (HCV-1). Results: Rapid virological response (RVR) was seen in 66/88 patients (75%): 19/32 HCV-1 (59%), 40/46 HCV-2 (87%) and 7/10 HCV-3 patients. Younger patients, leaner subjects and patients with non-1 genotype or lower baseline HCV RNA levels were more likely to achieve an RVR. Sustained virological response (SVR) was seen in 69/88 patients (78%): 20/32 HCV-1 patients (62%), 41/46 HCV-2 patients (89%) and 8/10 (80%) HCV-3 patients. The overall SVR rate was 88% in patients with RVR (58/66) and 50% in those without RVR. Conclusions: The combination of PEG-IFN α-2a and RBV produces, in patients with normal ALT, virological response rates that are comparable or even higher than those obtained in patients with elevated ALT levels. Thus, we suggest that in selected cases immediate therapy might be preferred to a 'wait-and-see' policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1479-1484
Number of pages6
JournalLiver International
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Keywords

  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Interferon
  • Normal ALT
  • Ribavirin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

Cite this

Puoti, C., Pellicelli, A. M., Romano, M., Mecenate, F., Guarisco, R., Barbarini, G., Mazzoni, E., Spilabotti, L., Bellis, L., Paglia, F., Barlattani, A., Picardi, A., Paffetti, A., Bonaventura, M. E., Nosotti, L., Mitidieri, O., Unto, O. D., Villani, R., Unto, C. D., ... Soccorsi, F. (2009). Treatment of hepatitis C virus carriers with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels with peginterferon α-2a and ribavirin: A multicentric study. Liver International, 29(10), 1479-1484. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-3231.2009.02042.x