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      Virological and Histological Responses to One Year Alpha-Interferon-2a in Hemodialyzed Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C

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          Abstract

          Background: α-Interferon-2a (IFNα) alone is a therapy of limited proven benefit for non-uremic patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In dialyzed patients, such an effect is suggested on small short-term studies without sufficient clinical and virologic follow-up to document any sustained effect. Protocol: Twelve chronically hemodialyzed patients with chronic hepatitis C and waiting for renal transplantation were included in a prospective open study of treatment with IFNα. We used, as did others, doses of 3 million units (MU), three times a week, but for a longer period of treatment of 12 months. Follow-up was continued for 6 months after the end of IFNα in order to document any sustained biochemical, virological and histological responses. Results: Aminotransferase levels returned to the normal range within 1–2 months of treatment in all patients in whom they had been elevated at baseline. At 1 month of treatment, serum HCV-RNA was not detected in 5 (41%) patients and in 9 (75%) at 12 months. A sustained virological response was documented in 4 (33%) patients 6 months after the end of treatment. Relapse occurred in 5 patients within 2 months after IFNα withdrawal. HCV genotype was not predictive of any sustained response. At inclusion, using the histologic Metavir scoring system, half of the patients had low-grade cytolytic activity and none had cirrhosis. After IFNα, liver biopsy specimens were available from 9 patients and showed histologic improvement in 3. IFNα tolerance was poor, inducing a 5% mean weight loss and the acute rejection of two nonfunctioning kidney grafts. Conclusion: This study documents that administration of IFNα at 3 MU three times a week, for 12 months, in hemodialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C was efficient for clearing the serum of HCV-RNA in 75% of the patients. A sustained response was maintained in one third of these patients after cessation of IFNα, and was predicted by the early serum clearance of the virus within the first 2 months of treatment. We confirm that a 12-month treatment period carries a higher sustained response rate than shorter treatment periods. These encouraging results call for larger studies in uremic patients, using IFNα alone or in association with new antiviral drugs.

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          The treatment of chronic viral hepatitis.

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            NEF
            Nephron
            10.1159/issn.1660-8151
            Nephron
            S. Karger AG
            1660-8151
            2235-3186
            2001
            2001
            25 May 2001
            : 88
            : 2
            : 120-126
            Affiliations
            aService de Néphrologie, bService de Hépato-gastro-entérologie, cLaboratoire de Microbiologie et dLaboratoire d’Anatomie pathologique, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire, Reims, France
            Article
            45971 Nephron 2001;88:120–126
            10.1159/000045971
            11399913
            © 2001 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.

            Page count
            Tables: 5, References: 25, Pages: 7
            Product
            Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/45971
            Categories
            Original Paper

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