- Chronic hepatitis C
- Interferon therapy
- Background factors
- Cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma
- Platelet count
Objective: Interferon (IFN) therapy has been used as antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C (CH-C); however, complete response to the therapy is observed in only about 30% of patients in Japan. Background factors involved in the responsiveness to IFN therapy, and progression to liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after IFN therapy have not yet been sufficiently investigated. Methods: One hundred twenty-one patients with CH-C who received IFN therapy at Showa University Hospital between 1984 and 1999 were analyzed. Results: At 6 months after the termination of IFN therapy, 53 patients achieved a complete response, 11 patients incomplete response, and 57 patients no response. During a mean follow-up of 52.7 months, 12 patients progressed to LC, and 10 patients developed HCC. Multivariate analysis showed that significant independent factors involved in progression to LC were platelet count and the efficacy of IFN therapy. The significant independent factor involved in the development of HCC was platelet count. The factor involved in the therapeutic effect at 6 months after the termination of IFN administration was the serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA levels before IFN therapy. Conclusion: Patients with high HCV RNA levels and low platelet counts should be considered to be at high risk of progressing to LC and developing of HCC and should be carefully followed after IFN therapy using ultrasonography, CT scan and MRI.
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Received: Received: August 30, 2001
Accepted after revision: October 15, 2001
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 5, Number of References : 29
Intervirology (International Journal of Basic and Medical Virology)
Founded 1973 by J.L. Melnick; continued by F. Rapp (1986–1990); M.J. Buchmeier and C.R. Howard (1991–1993)
Vol. 45, No. 1, Year 2002 (Cover Date: January-February 2002)
Journal Editor: Rüdiger W. Braun, Stuttgart
ISSN: 0300–5526 (print), 1423–0100 (Online)
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