Sustained virological response to pegylated interferon and ribavirin in patients with genotype 3 HCV cirrhosis.

Amna Subhan Butt, Agha Khan University
Mumtaz Khan, Aga Khan University
Aqeel I,, Aga Khan University
Syed H Shah, Agha Khan University
Saeed Hamid, Aga Khan University
Wasim Jafri, Aga Khan University


BACKGROUND: Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) virus infection in patients with cirrhosis is difficult to treat. There is limited data on the outcome of treatment for genotype 3 HCV infection with cirrhosis.

AIMS: To determine sustained virological response (SVR) and its predictive factors in patients with cirrhosis due to genotype 3 HCV infection treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (RBV).

METHODS: Consecutive patients with compensated cirrhosis due to HCV genotype 3 with positive HCV RNA treated with peg-IFN and RBV in our Gastroenterology Clinics during November 2005 to December 2006 were included in this study. Cirrhosis was diagnosed on the basis of liver biopsy and/or biochemical testing and ultrasound of abdomen. Primary end point of treatment was SVR.

RESULTS: Of 66 patients, 32 (48.5%) were male. The mean age was 46.2 +/- 10.1 years; there were 61 (92.4%) patients with Child's A cirrhosis followed by 5 (7.6%) with Child's B type. 33 (50%) patients received pegylated interferon alfa-2a (180 microg/wk) with ribavirin and 33 (50%) received pegylated interferon alfa 2b (1 microg/kg/week) with ribavirin. EVR was achieved in 44 (66.7%), and ETR in 46 (69.7%); overall SVR was achieved in 38 (57.6%) patients. Factors predictive of SVR were age (p value = 0.03), treatment naïve status (p value = 0.04) and EVR (p value < 0.001). Five patients were unable to complete the treatment due to side effects or cytopenias.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of patients with HCV genotype 3, compensated cirrhosis, with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is effective and well tolerated.