Aim: We advocate a simple formula which can conveniently predict the outcome of Peg-interferon (IFN) alpha2b and ribavirin (RBV) combination therapy for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (CH-C) with high viral load.
Methods: A total of 338 (group A: 230, Group B: 108) genotype 1 CH-C patients treated with Peg-IFN alfa-2b and RBV were enrolled. Clinical parameters differing significantly between sustained virological responders (SVRs) and non-SVRs in group A were categorized, then a simple formula to predict SVR was constructed and re-evaluated in group B. Another formula containing hepatitis C virus amino acid mutations/substitutions also was constructed.
Results: In group A, gender and HCV RNA load <1000 KIU were significant predictors of SVR by multivariate logistic regression analysis. A simple formula was constructed (formula A): male gender (point 2) + HCV RNA load <1000 KIU (3) + platelet counts ≥15 × 10(4) /mm(3) (1) + age <60 (1). In group A, score (0-1) predicted SVR rate 23.8% (2-4): 48.1% and (5-7): 70.2%. According to this formula, score (0-1) predicted SVR rate 7.1% (2-4): 38.6%, and (5-7): 70.3% in group B. Information on HCV amino acid mutations/substitutions seemed to add some accuracy.
Conclusions: This simple formula can be used to roughly determine, at the patients' first/second visit, the probability of response to Peg-IFN alpha2b and RBV combination therapy for genotype 1 CH-C with high viral load.