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Korean J Hepatol > Volume 14(3); 2008 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2008;14(3): 318-330.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3350/kjhep.2008.14.3.318
Effects of pegylated interferon and ribavirin in Korean patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection
Myoung Joo Kang, M.D., Eun Uk Jung, M.D., Sang Won Park, M.D., Paul Choi, M.D., Ji Hyun Kim, M.D., Sung Jae Park, M.D., Eun Taek Park, M.D., Youn Jae Lee, M.D., Sang Hyuk Lee, M.D., Sang Yong Seol, M.D.
Department of Internal medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea
Abstract

Background/Aims:
We assessed the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon (peginterferon) plus ribavirin and identified the predictors of a sustained virologic response (SVR) in Korean patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Methods:
A total of 192 patients with chronic hepatitis C, treated with both peginterferon (n=141) or conventional interferon (n=51) and ribavirin, were analyzed retrospectively. Peginterferon alfa-2a (180 μg/week) or -2b (1.5 μg/kg/week) or interferon alfa-2a (3 MIU thrice weekly) was administered in combination with ribavirin at 1,000-1,200 mg/day for 48 weeks for genotype 1 and at 800 mg/day for 24 weeks for genotypes 2 and 3.
Results:
The overall SVR rate was 80.9% (114/141) in the peginterferon group and 52.9% (27/51) in the interferon group (P=0.0001). The SVR rate in genotype 1 was 69.5% (41/59) in the peginterferon group and 31.6% (6/19) in the interferon group (P=0.0033), whereas in genotype 2 or 3 it was 89.0% (73/82) in the peginterferon group and 65.6% (21/32) in the interferon group (P=0.0032). The predictors of SVR in the peginterferon group were genotype, absence of cirrhosis, and early virologic response (P<0.05).
Conclusions:
In Korean patients with chronic hepatitis C, a regimen of peginterferon and ribavirin was more effective than a regimen of conventional interferon and ribavirin. This result is comparable to those from studies on Western patients as an initial treatment for chronic hepatitis C. (Korean J Hepatol 2008;14: 318-330)
KeyWords: Hepatitis C; Peginterferon; Ribavirin; Sustained virologic response; Predictive factors
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