Published online Jan 14, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.255
Revised: October 24, 2007
Published online: January 14, 2008
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of pegylated-interferon alpha-2a in hemodialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C.
METHODS: Thirty-six hemodialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C were enrolled in a controlled and prospective study. All patients were treatment naive, positive tested for anti-HCV antibodies, and positive tested for serum HCV-RNA. Twenty-two patients received 135 &mgr;g peglyated-interferon α-2a weekly for 48 wk (group A). The remaining patients were left untreated, eleven refused therapy, and three were not candidates for kidney transplantation and were allocated to the control group (group B). At the end of the treatment biochemical and virological response was evaluated, and 24 wk after completion of therapy sustained virological response (SVR) was assessed. Side effects were monitored.
RESULTS: Of 22 hemodialysis patients, 12 were male and 10 female, with a mean age of 35.2 ± 12.1 years. Virological end-of-treatment response was observed in 14 patients (82.4%) in group A and in one patient (7.1%) in group B (P = 0.001). Sustained virological response was observed in 11 patients (64.7%) in group A and in one patient in group B (7.1%). Biochemical response parameters normalized in 10/14 patients (71.4%) at the end of the treatment. ALT levels in group B were initially high in six patients and normalized in one of them (25%) at the end of the 48 wk. In five patients (22.7%) therapy had to be stopped at mo 4 due to complications of weakness, anemia, and bleeding.
CONCLUSION: SVR could be achieved in 64.7% of patients on hemodialysis with chronic hepatitis C by a treatment with peglyated-interferon α-2a. Group A had a significantly better efficacy compared to the control group B, but the side effects need to be concerned.