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Rosuvastatin reduces nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with ?-interferon and ribavirin


Michele Malaguarnera 1 , * , Marco Vacante 2 , Cristina Russo 2 , Maria Pia Gargante 2 , Maria Giordano 2 , Gaetano Bertino 2 , Sergio Neri 2 , Mariano Malaguarnera 2 , Fabio Galvano 2 , Giovanni Li Volti 2


1 Department of Biochemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, malaguar@unict.it, Italy

2 Department of Internal Medicine and Systemic diseases, University of Catania, Italy


Hepatitis Monthly: 11 (2); 92-98
Article Type: Research Article
Received: February 15, 2010
Accepted: August 14, 2010




Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease develops in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Interferon and ribavirin combination therapy is the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C, but if present, NAFLD can reduce the virological response to anti-HCV therapies.
Objectives: We determined whether the addition of rosuvastatin to interferon and ribavirin improves the sustained virological response (SVR) and reduces steatosis.
Patients and Methods: This study was a prospective, randomized, open-label trial. Between January 2004 and December 2007, 65 patients with chronic hepatitis (27 women and 38 men, mean age 48 years) aged 32-63 years (median 46 years) were consecutively enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned to receive leukocyte interferon alpha (3 MIU 3 times per week) plus ribavirin (1200 mg per day) for 12 months or interferon alpha and ribavirin at the same dosages plus rosuvastatin (5 mg per day). The primary endpoints were measurements in SVR, liver enzyme, cholesterol, triglyceride, CRP, glucose, and insulin levels; and Homa-IR, fibrosis, and steatosis scores.
Results: After 12 months of treatment, we observed a significant improvement in SVR in 51% of patients who received interferon plus ribavirin plus rosuvastatin compared with 18% of relapsers (OR 1.52; 95% CI= 0.41-5.64; RR 1.13). There were 23 responders (69%) and 10 nonresponders (30%) (OR 1.38; 95% CI= 0.49-16.5; RR 1.11). When comparing interferon plus ribavirin group vs interferon plus ribavirin and rosuvastatin group after 12 months, we observed a significant difference in AST (85.70 vs.106.5.00 IU/ml) (OR 1.2; 95% CI= 0.29-4.94; RR 1.04; p<0.001), ALT (81.80 vs. 126.2 IU/ml) (OR 1.2; 95% CI= 0.29-4.94; RR 1.04; p<0.001), LDL-cholesterol (0.01 vs. 0.60 mmol/l) (OR 14; 95% CI= 3.98-49.16; p RR 2.96; <0.001), triglycerides (0.17 vs. 0.2 mmol/l) (OR 20; 95% CI= 4.94-80.89; RR 5.38; p<0.05), and Viremia (1.8 vs. 2.48 UI/ml, p<0.05). Mean fibrosis score decreased 0.10 vs. 0.50 (OR 4.5; 95% CI= 0.89-22.66; RR 1.5; p<0.05), and mean steatosis score declined 0.30 vs. 0.50 (OR 11.2; CI= 2.88-43.53; RR 2.75; p<0.001).
Conclusions: In HCV patients with NAFLD, the addition of rosuvastatin to interferon and ribavirin significantly reduces viremia, steatosis, and fibrosis without causing side effects.


NAFLD Ribavirin Interferon Hepatitis

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