Background and Aims: Double-filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP) together with interferon (IFN) administration produces a substantial reduction in the viral load during the early stages of treatment. Methods: Based on their responses to previous pegylated IFN and ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RBV) therapy, 20 patients were divided into null virological response (NVR; n = 12) and relapse (n = 8) groups. DFPP was used in combination with IFN-β/RBV with subsequent administration of PEG-IFN-α2a/RBV therapy (DFPP + IFN-β/RBV then PEG-IFN/RBV). Early viral dynamics was assessed, focusing especially on complete early virological response (cEVR) associated with sustained virological response. Additionally, the interleukin 28B gene, the IFN/RBV resistance-determining region, the IFN sensitivity-determining region and the core regions were analyzed. Results: Rapid virological response was achieved in 0% (0/12) of NVR and in 75% (6/8) of relapse patients, with a significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.001). Similarly, cEVR was achieved in 8% (1/12) of NVR and in 88% (7/8) of relapse patients, with a significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.037). By multivariate logistic regression analysis, interleukin-28B major was a significant determiner of cEVR (odds ratio = 24.19, p = 0.037). Conclusion: DFPP + IFN-β/RBV then PEG-IFN/RBV therapy is indicated more for relapse than for NVR patients.
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