1993 Volume 32 Issue 7 Pages 523-529
The antiviral effect of natural interferon (IFN)-α on chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was estimated by determining quantitative changes in serum HCV-RNA compared with the serum alanine aminotransferase (sALT) improvement; the relationships of responses to IFN according to the dose and period of IFN therapy were defined to determine an appropriate IFN therapy protocol. Twenty-two patients with chronic hepatitis C were given natural IFN-α and in 16 (72.7%) patients the viraemia was suppressed during therapy. Five (27.7%) of them sustained the disappearance of HCV-RNA for more than 6 months after therapy accompanied with a prolonged sALT improve-ment. Pre-treatment viraemia levels in 5 complete responders with "complete suppression" of viraemia were significantly lower than in 11 patients with a transient loss or a decline of HCV-RNA. Afavorable antiviral response was closely associated with a high total dose of IFN-α and a long duration of IFN therapy.
(Internal Medicine 32: 523-529, 1993)