Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Kyungpook National University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Chronic hepatitis C patients with advanced fibrosis have unsatisfactory sustained virological response (SVR) rates. Few data demonstrating the efficacy of combination therapy in chronic hepatitis C patients with advanced fibrosis in South Korea are available. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the stage of fibrosis impacts the efficacy of combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C.
We retrospectively reviewed data for a total of 109 patients with chronic hepatitis C, treated with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. SVR according to the stage of liver fibrosis assessed by pretreatment liver biopsy and genotype results were analyzed.
Data from 66 genotype 1 patients (60.6%) and 43 genotype 2 or 3 patients (39.4%) among the 109 patients were analyzed. SVR rates for the genotype 1 patients were significantly lower for the stage 3-4 group (32.1%) than the stage 0-2 group (78.9%; P<0.001). SVR rates (92.0% for stage 0-2, 77.8% for stage 3-4, P=0.184) of genotype 2 or 3 patients were not significantly different according to fibrosis stage. Likewise, the frequency of adverse events was not significantly different according to fibrosis stage.
Compared to patients without advanced fibrosis, we can anticipate good SVR rates for genotype 2 or 3 patients with advanced fibrosis and they did not show an inferior tolerability for peginterferon and ribavirin combination therpy. Our results suggest that active treatment is needed for genotype 2 or 3 patients with advanced fibrosis