Treatment with peg-interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin of hepatitis C virus-associated mixed cryoglobulinemia: A pilot study

Cesare Mazzaro, Francesca Zorat, Manuela Caizzi, Carlo Donada, Giampiero Di Gennaro, Luigino Dal Maso, Giorgio Carniello, Luigi Virgolini, Umberto Tirelli, Gabriele Pozzato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background/Aims: The aim of this study is to verify the efficacy and safety of peg-interferon alfa-2b in combination with ribavirin for initial treatment of HCV-associated mixed cryoglobulinemia. Methods: Eighteen patients (7 women and 11 men) affected by mixed cryoglobulinemia were included in the study and treated with peg-interferon alfa-2b 1.0 μg/kg once a week plus ribavirin (1000 mg daily) for 48 weeks, regardless of the HCV genotype. Results: At the end of the treatment HCV-RNA became undetectable in 15 patients (83%) and most patients improved clinically. One subject suspended treatment at 13th week due to depression. A large fraction of the patients (8 cases: 44%) relapsed both virologically and clinically a few weeks after the end of therapy. At the end of follow-up, only eight patients (44%) obtained a sustained virological response. Conclusions: Peg-interferon alfa-2b in combination with ribavirin seems safe and useful for patients affected by mixed cryoglobulinemia, but not as effective as in patients with HCV-positive chronic hepatitis without cryoglobulinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-638
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Keywords

  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Mixed cryoglobulinemia
  • Peg-interferon
  • Ribavirin
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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