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An Open Pilot Study Exploring the Efficacy of Fluvastatin, Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1b in High Viral LoadsSezaki H.a · Suzuki F.a · Akuta N.a · Yatsuji H.a · Hosaka T.a · Kobayashi M.a · Suzuki Y.a · Arase Y.a · Ikeda K.a · Miyakawa Y.b · Kumada H.a
aDepartment of Hepatology, Toranomon Hospital, and bMiyakawa Memorial Research Foundation, Tokyo, Japan Corresponding Author
Hitomi Sezaki, MD
Department of Hepatology, Toranomon Hospital
Tokyo 105-8470 (Japan)
Tel. +81 44 877 5111, Fax +81 44 860 1623, E-Mail email@example.com
Objective: Response to pegylated (PEG) interferon (IFN) and ribavirin is achieved only in 40–50% of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) of genotype 1 in high viral loads, which needs to be improved. Methods: In an open-label pilot study, fluvastatin (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor), 20 mg daily, was given along with PEG-IFN/ribavirin to 21 patients with chronic hepatitis C. They were followed for HCV RNA in serum. Results: During treatment for 48 weeks, HCV RNA was lost from serum in 93% of the patients. In the 15 patients who received 48-week therapy, a sustained virological response (SVR) with loss of HCV RNA 24 weeks after completion was achieved in 10 (67%), including 7 of the 9 (78%) male and 3 of the 6 (50%) female patients. In the remaining 6 patients who received 72-week therapy, SVR was gained in 4 (67%), including 1 of the 2 male and 3 of the 4 female patients aged 56, 58 and 62 years, respectively. Conclusion: Fluvastatin could be used safely to increase the response to PEG-IFN and ribavirin, especially in aged women who respond poorly to combined PEG-IFN/ribavirin.
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