Published online May 21, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i19.2407
Revised: February 10, 2010
Accepted: February 17, 2010
Published online: May 21, 2010
AIM: To investigate relapse predictors in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with end-of-treatment response (ETR), after pegylated interferon-α (PegIFN-α) and ribavirin treatment.
METHODS: In a retrospective study we evaluated a spectrum of predictors of relapse after PegIFN-α and ribavirin treatment in 86 CHC patients with ETR. Viral loads were determined with real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Hepatitis C virus genotyping was performed by sequencing analysis. Patients with genotype 1 were treated for 48 wk with 180 μg PegIFN-α2a or 1.5 μg/kg PegIFN-α2b once weekly plus ribavirin at a dosage of 1000 mg/d for those under 75 kg or 1200 mg/d for those over 75 kg. Patients with genotypes 2 and 3 were treated for 24 wk with 180 μg PegIFN-α2a or 1.5 μg/kg PegIFN-α2b once weekly plus ribavirin at a dosage of 800 mg/d.
RESULTS: In all ETR patients, binary logistic regression analysis identified absence of complete early virological response (cEVR) (OR 27.07, 95% CI: 3.09-237.26, P < 0.005), serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels prior to therapy < 75 U/L (OR: 6.16, 95% CI: 2.1-18.03, P < 0.001) and body mass index > 26 kg/m2 (OR: 8.27, 95% CI: 2.22-30.84, P < 0.005) as independent predictors of relapse. When cEVR patients were analyzed exclusively, ALP prior to therapy < 75 U/L remained the only predictor of relapse.
CONCLUSION: Lower levels of ALP prior to, during and after therapy seem to be associated with a higher risk of relapse in CHC patients with ETR.