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Baseline High Viral Load and Unfavorable Patterns of Alanine Aminotransferase Change Predict Virological Relapse in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 1 or 2 Obtaining Rapid Virological Response During Antiviral Therapy

AUTHORS

Kung-Hung Lin 2 , Hsien-Chung Yu 1 , * , Ping-I Hsu 1 , Wei-Lun Tsai 1 , Wen-Chi Chen 1 , Chun-Ku Lin 1 , Hoi-Hung Chan 1 , Fong-Wei Tsay 1 , Kwok-Hung Lai 1

AUTHORS INFORMATION

2 Physical Examination Center, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

1 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

How to Cite: Lin K, Yu H, Hsu P, Tsai W, Chen W, et al. Baseline High Viral Load and Unfavorable Patterns of Alanine Aminotransferase Change Predict Virological Relapse in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 1 or 2 Obtaining Rapid Virological Response During Antiviral Therapy, Hepat Mon. 2013 ; 13(10):11892. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.11892.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Hepatitis Monthly: 13 (10); 11892
Published Online: October 20, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
Received: May 2, 2013
Accepted: September 27, 2013
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Abstract

Background: Rapid virological response (RVR) strongly predicts sustained virological response (SVR) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), and abbreviates antiviral therapy in some patients.

Objectives: To identify factors predicting virological relapse (VR) in CHC patients who attained RVR.

Patients and Methods: Medical records of 133 CHC patients with an RVR after completing 24 weeks of antiviral therapy (a combination of pegylated interferon-? and ribavirin) were analyzed. Baseline characteristics and on-treatment responses were compared between the patients with an SVR and those with VR. Patients with normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels at weeks 4 and 12 and at the end-of-treatment (EoT) and patients with elevated, but constantly decreasing, ALT levels were classified as having favorable patterns of ALT change. A trend of increasing ALT levels either between weeks 4 and 12 or between weeks 12 and EoT was classified as unfavorable. A high viral load (HVL) was defined as a baseline HCV RNA ? 600000 IU/mL.

Results: In total, 116 (87.2%) patients had a SVR and 14 (10.5%) had VR. The VR rates were comparable between patients with genotype-1 (13.1%) and genotype-2 infection (8.7%) (P = 0.572). Multivariate analysis revealed that HVL (P = 0.015; odds ratio [OR] = 14.754; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.671130.240), and unfavorable ALT patterns (P = 0.039; OR = 4.397; 95% CI = 1.07817.930) independently predicted VR. In subgroup analysis, low viral load (LVL) patients had a minimal VR rate (1.8%). Among the HVL patients, the VR rate of those using peg-IFN-?-2a was relatively low (9.1%). Patients using peg-IFN-?-2b had a slightly higher VR rate (23.8%; P = 0.128), and patients with favorable patterns of ALT changes had a lower VR rate (10.3%) compared to the 53.8% in patients with unfavorable ALT patterns (P = 0.005).

Conclusions: In southern Taiwan, 24 weeks of antiviral therapy achieved a high SVR rate in patients with CHC attaining RVR, except in the subgroup of patients treated with peg-IFN-?-2b with HVL and on-treatment unfavorable ALT patterns.

Keywords

Chronic Hepatitis C Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2a Ribavirin Relapse

© 2013, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

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