Intervirology 2007;50:439–446

Eicosapentaenoic Acid Could Permit Maintenance of the Original Ribavirin Dose in Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Patients during the First 12 Weeks of Combination Therapy with Pegylated Interferon-α and Ribavirin

A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial

Takaki S.a · Kawakami Y.a · Imamura M.a · Aikata H.a · Takahashi S.a · Ishihara H.b · Tsuji K.c · Aimitsu S.d · Kawakami H.e · Nakanishi T.f · Kitamoto M.g · Moriya T.h · Satoh K.i · Chayama K.a
aDepartment of Medicine and Molecular Science, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Programs for Biomedical Research, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, bDepartment of Internal Medicine, Chuden Hospital, cDepartment of Internal Medicine, Hiroshima City Asa Hospital, dDepartment of Hepatology, Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital and Atomic Bomb Survivors Hospital, and eKawakami Gastroenterology Clinic, Hiroshima; fDepartment of Gastroenterology, Shobara Red Cross Hospital, Shobara; gDepartment of Gastroenterology, Hiroshima Prefectural Hospital, hDepartment of Gastroenterology, Chugoku Rousai Hospital, and iDepartment of Environmetrics and Biometrics, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Ribavirin
  • PEG interferon
  • Combination therapy
  • Anemia
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid

 goto top of outline Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) against ribavirin (RBV)-associated hemolytic anemia during the first 12 weeks in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) combination therapy. Methods: This study was a prospective open-label, randomized controlled trial. 100 HCV patients were randomized to either the EPA group (n = 49) or non-EPA group (n = 51) who received combination therapy with or without EPA. We compared the changes in hemoglobin level and RBV plasma concentrations at week 12 in each group with RBV dose reduction rate and performed multivariate analysis to identify independent variables associated with RBV dose reduction. Results: 8 patients (17%) in the EPA group and 20 patients (29%) in the non-EPA group required RBV dose reduction, respectively. The cumulative RBV reduction rate was significantly lower in the EPA group than in the non-EPA group (p = 0.017), while the decrease of hemoglobin and RBV plasma concentrations from baseline was not significantly different. However, in the multivariate analysis, treatment with EPA showed significant variables for the reduction of RBV dose (odds ratio 3.235, p = 0.023). Conclusion: EPA could prevent the RBV dose reduction during the first 12 weeks in combination therapy, although further large-scale double-blind randomized controlled trials are required.

Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Shintaro Takaki, Department of Medicine and Molecular Science
Division of Frontier Medical Science, Programs for Biomedical Research
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University
1-2-3, Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8551 (Japan)
Tel. +81 82 257 5192, Fax +81 82 257 5194, E-Mail

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: April 17, 2007
Accepted after revision: November 20, 2007
Published online: February 4, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 8
Number of Figures : 4, Number of Tables : 5, Number of References : 38

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Intervirology (International Journal of Basic and Medical Virology)

Vol. 50, No. 6, Year 2007 (Cover Date: February 2008)

Journal Editor: Liebert, U.G. (Leipzig)
ISSN: 0300–5526 (Print), eISSN: 1423–0100 (Online)

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