Endemic Medicine Department and Hepatology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Chronic HCV represents one of the common causes of chronic liver disease worldwide with Egypt having the highest prevalence, namely genotype 4. Interleukin IL-28B gene polymorphism has been shown to relate to HCV treatment response, mainly in genotype1.
We aim to evaluate the predictive power of the rs12979860 IL28B SNP and its protein for treatment response in genotype 4 Egyptian patients by regression analysis and decision tree analysis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
The study included 263 chronic HCV Egyptian patients receiving peg-interferon and ribavirin therapy. Patients were classified into 3 groups; non responders (83patients), relapsers (76patients) and sustained virological responders (104 patients). Serum IL 28 B was performed, DNA was extracted and analyzed by direct sequencing of the SNP rs 12979860 of IL28B gene.
CT, CC and TT represented 56 %, 25 % and 19% of the patients, respectively. Absence of C allele (TT genotype) was significantly correlated with the early failure of response while CC was associated with sustained virological response. The decision tree showed that baseline alpha fetoprotein (AFP ≤ 2.68 ng/ml) was the variable of initial split (the strongest predictor of response) confirmed by regression analysis. Patients with TT genotype had the highest probability of failure of response.
Absence of the C allele was significantly associated with failure of response. The presence of C allele was associated with a favorable outcome. AFP is a strong baseline predictor of HCV treatment response. A decision tree model is useful for predicting the probability of response to therapy.