Sustained Virological Response in the Antiviral Therapy of Chronic Hepatitis C: Is There a Predictive Value of Interferon-Induced Depression?Schäfer A.a · Scheurlen M.a · Weissbrich B.b · Schöttker K.a · Kraus M.R.a
aDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II and bInstitute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
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Background: The study objective was to determine the contribution of cytokine-induced depression to a predictive model of sustained virological response (SVR) in chronic hepatitis C. Methods: One hundred and one therapy-naïve hepatitis C virus (HCV) outpatients received treatment with peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin. Neuropsychiatric side effects were monitored prospectively (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, DSM-IV criteria for major depression). SVR was defined as a failure to detect HCV by PCR 24 weeks after therapy. Results: SVR rate was 72.3% (73 of 101 patients). Classification data and the extent of interferon-induced depression were not significantly linked to SVR. Virus genotype (p = 0.045) and gender (p = 0.016) contributed significantly to a logistic regression model. Mean (p = 0.811) and maximum (p = 0.744) depression increases were no significant predictors of SVR. Major depression rates (DSM-IV criteria) were 12.3% (9 of 73 patients) in the subgroup with SVR and 10.7% (3 of 28) in patients without SVR. Conclusions: We found no significant association between depression and the efficacy of antiviral treatment in chronic hepatitis C. Interferon-induced depressive symptoms are important to be monitored and treated if necessary; however, they cannot be used to predict therapy success.
© 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel
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