Toronto Western Hospital Liver Centre, Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address: Jordan.email@example.com.
Great strides have been made in the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the past decade. Although there is much focus on the development of new direct-acting antivirals (DAA), interferon and ribavirin remain the backbone of therapy for both acute and chronic HCV infections. While DAA therapy will likely eventually largely replace interferon, in much of the world and for genotype non-1 patients, peginterferon and ribavirin remain first-line therapy. Interferon-based therapy is highly effective in acute HCV with high response rates with short courses of therapy. Unfortunately once infection progresses to chronicity, treatment success rates drop off considerably. The indications, pre-treatment evaluation and efficacy of peginterferon and ribavirin therapy in the treatment of acute and chronic HCV infection are discussed with strategies to improve outcomes and manage adverse events.