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      Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C with Interferon Alpha in Patients on Maintenance Hemodialysis

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      S. Karger AG

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          A comparison of three interferon alfa-2b regimens for the long-term treatment of chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis. Multicenter Study Group.

          We studied the effects of long-term treatment with interferon on histologic features of the liver and serum alanine aminotransferase concentrations in patients with chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis. Consecutive patients who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled in the study. The diagnosis of chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis was established on the basis of the liver-biopsy findings and an abnormal serum alanine aminotransferase value (greater than 1.5 times the normal value) for at least one year. All patients were treated for six months with 3 million units of interferon alfa-2b given subcutaneously three times a week and were then randomly assigned to the same treatment for an additional 12 months (group 1), a regimen of 1 million units three times a week for 12 months (group 2), or no further treatment (group 3). Patients in group 3 who had elevated serum alanine aminotransferase concentrations for three consecutive months underwent the initial regimen once again. Follow-up continued for two years after the discontinuation of treatment. Histologic improvement was defined as a decrease of at least one grade in the score for necroinflammatory activity (0, no activity; 1, mild; 2, moderate; or 3, severe) between the first liver biopsy and a biopsy performed at 18 months. Of the 329 patients initially treated, 303 were randomized: 103 to group 1, 101 to group 2, and 99 to group 3. Of the 286 patients tested, 252 (88.1 percent) had antibodies to hepatitis C virus. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 46 of the patients in group 1 (44.7 percent) had normal serum alanine aminotransferase values at 18 months, as compared with 27 of the patients in group 2 (26.7 percent, P = 0.008) and 30 of those in group 3 (30.3 percent, P = 0.04). Between 19 and 42 months, 23 of the patients in group 1 (22.3 percent) continued to have normal serum alanine aminotransferase values (measured every six months), as compared with 10 of the patients in group 2 (9.9 percent, P = 0.02) and 8 of those in group 3 (8.1 percent, P = 0.005). Among the 176 patients with repeated liver biopsies at 18 months, more patients in group 1 had improved histologic-activity scores (69.6 percent) than in group 2 (47.6 percent, P = 0.02) or group 3 (38.6 percent, P < 0.001). Among patients with chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis, a regimen of 3 million units of interferon alfa-2b given three times a week for 18 months produced better histologic findings and serum alanine aminotransferase values than regimens involving a lower dose or a shorter duration of treatment.

            Author and article information

            S. Karger AG
            June 1998
            27 May 1998
            : 79
            : 2
            : 229-231
            Institute of Nephrology and Hemodialysis, Faculty of Medicine, Niš, Serbia
            45035 Nephron 1998;79:229–231
            © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

            Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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            Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology


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