Objective The aim of this study was to elucidate the efficacy of short-term interferon (IFN) therapy for type C cirrhotic patients with genotype 2a and low virus load.
Methods The present study was retrospective cohort study. Inclusion criteria were liver cirrhosis, hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2a, the serum HCV RNA level of less than 100 KIU/mL, and IFN period of 6 or 8 weeks. Twenty-five consecutive patients who satisfied the above criteria were treated with IFN-beta daily at the dosage of 6 MU for 6 or 8 weeks. Independent factors that might have influenced sustained virologic response (SVR) were studied using multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results Background of clinical profiles were as follows: median (range) age=64 (53-76) years, male/female=13/12, and median (range) HCV-RNA=31 (8-90) KIU/mL. Out of 25, 14 patients (56.0%) had SVR by the intention-to-treat analysis. The SVR was significantly associated with serum HCV RNA level. Logistic analysis showed that SVR occurred when HCV RNA level was <50 KIU/mL (p=0.047). Based on the difference of the serum HCV RNA level, the SVR rate was 68.4% (13/19) in patients with a serum HCV RNA level of <50 KIU/mL and 16.7% (1/6) in patients with a serum HCV RNA level of ≥50 KIU/mL.
Conclusions The 6 or 8-week IFN-beta therapy is a possible selection of therapy for cirrhotic patients with HCV genotype 2a and a serum HCV RNA level of <50 KIU/mL.
2008 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine