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Korean J Hepatol > Volume 13(3); 2007 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2007;13(3): 341-348.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3350/kjhep.2007.13.3.341
Short-term Therapy with Pegylated Interferon plus Ribavirin for the Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 2 Patients
Eun Uk Jung , Ji Hun Park , Kyung Im Pae , Suk Woo Kang , Sung Jae Park , Sam Ryong Jee , Eun Tak Park , Youn Jae Lee , Sang Hyuk Lee , Sang Young Seol
Department of Internal medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea
Abstract

Background/Aims:
The standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C patients infected with HCV genotype-2 is a combination of pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin over a 24 week period. It is unclear if a shorter treatment duration is possible for patients showing a rapid virological response (RVR) without compromising the sustained virologic response (SVR) in Korea.
Methods:
42 patients chronically infected with the HCV genotype-2 were treated with peginterferon alfa-2a 180 mcg/wk plus ribavirin 800 mg/d for 24 weeks and followed up for 24 weeks. The HCV RNA was qualitatively assessed after 4 weeks of treatment, and RVR was defined as undetectable HCV RNA at the 4th week. Retrospectively, 26 patients were treated with the standard treatment strategy (≥80% of the intended duration and dosage), 14 patients with a short-term treatment strategy (<80% intended duration and dosage) and 2 patients were excluded.
Results:
Among the 42 patients, 35 patients (83%) had RVR and 38 patients (90%) had a sustained virologic response (SVR). All 7 patients without RVR were treated with the standard treatment strategy, in whom 6 patients (86%) had SVR. Among the 35 patients with RVR, 14 patients were treated with short-term treatment and 19 patients were treated with the standard treatment. SVR was obtained in 12 out of the 14 patients (86%) in the short-term treatment group and 18 out of the 19 (95%) in the standard treatment group (P=0.373).
Conclusion:
HCV genotype-2 patients who have RVR with peginterferon and ribavirin treatment can be treated with a short-term treatment without compromising the chances for SVR. However, an additional trial will be needed to optimize the treatment duration. (Korean J Hepatol 2007;13:341-348)
KeyWords: Hepatitis C; Peginterferon; Ribavirin; Rapid virologic response; Short-term treatment
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