Source Department of Gastroenterology, Department of Nephrology, Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
BACKGROUND/AIM: To investigate the early effects of peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin therapy on blood pressure and related cardiovascular risk parameters, and also insulin resistance in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
METHODOLOGY: Twenty-nine patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) were enrolled in the study. Twenty-four hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) of all patients was recorded in the pre-treatment period, and after the 1st and 8th weeks of treatment. Lipid profile, insulin resistance (IR), body mass index (BMI), complete blood counts and transaminase levels were also recorded at the same time periods.
RESULTS: Fifteen of the 29 patients studied were hypertensive before treatment. The baseline, 1st week and 8th week recordings of ABPM (daytime, nighttime, mean systolic and diastolic measurements) did not show any significant change. Among hypertensive patients, differences in pretreatment, 1st and 8th week of treatment values of median systolic and diastolic blood pressures were not statistically significant. After the 8th week, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, hemoglobin, white blood cell, platelet and AST/ALT were significantly decreased (p<0.05). Serum triglyceride levels increased significantly (p<0.0001) and HOMA-IR decreased (p=0.07).
CONCLUSION: Peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin therapy did not cause any increase in blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive CHC patients in the early period of treatment. This treatment resulted in early but not significant changes in the IR status of CHC patients.