Published online Apr 8, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i4.703
Peer-review started: August 30, 2014
First decision: November 1, 2014
Revised: November 5, 2014
Accepted: January 18, 2015
Article in press: January 20, 2015
Published online: April 8, 2015
AIM: To evaluate pre-treatment factors associated with sustained virological response (SVR) in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 3 treated with peginterferon and ribavirin (RBV).
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed treatment naive, mono-infected HCV genotype 3 patients treated with peginterferon and RBV. Exclusion criteria included presence of other liver disease, alcohol consumption and African American or Asian ethnicity. The variables collected and compared between patients who achieved an SVR and patients who did not were as follows: gender, age, fibrosis stage, diabetes, body mass index, steatosis, INFL3 polymorphism, pre-treatment HCV-RNA, type of peginterferon, RBV dose and adherence.
RESULTS: A total of 107 patients treated between June, 2004 and March, 2013 were included. Mean treatment duration was 25.1 (± 1.8) wk. Overall, 58% (62/107) of the patients achieved an SVR and 42% (45/107) did not. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, pre-treatment HCV-RNA ≥ 600000 UI/mL (OR = 0.375, 95%CI: 0.153-0.919, P = 0.032) and advanced fibrosis (OR = 0.278, 95%CI: 0.113-0.684, P = 0.005) were significantly associated with low SVR rates. In patients with pre-treatment HCV-RNA ≥ 600000 UI/mL and advanced fibrosis, the probability of achieving an SVR was 29% (95%CI: 13.1-45.2). In patients with pre-treatment HCV-RNA < 600000 UI/mL and mild to moderate fibrosis, the probability of achieving an SVR was 81% (95%CI: 68.8-93.4).
CONCLUSION: In patients with HCV genotype 3 infections the presence of advance fibrosis and high pre-treatment viral load might be associated with poor response to peginterferon plus RBV. These patients could benefit the most from new direct antiviral agents-based regimes.
Core tip: Our study evaluates pre-treatment factors associated with sustained virological response in patients with hepatitis C virus genotype 3 treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin. We identified a sub-group of patients with high pre-treatment viral load and advanced fibrosis whose chance of achieving a sustained virological response is as low as 29%. We believe these patients should be prioritized to access new treatment strategies.