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Antiviral/immunomodulatory combination therapy: Pegylated interferon alpha 2a and ribavirin in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection

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Author(s): Delić Dragan | Mitrović Nikola | Popović Nataša | Urošević Aleksandar | Pešić Ivana | Simonović Jasmina | Dulović Olga | Švirtlih Neda

Journal: Srpski Arhiv za Celokupno Lekarstvo
ISSN 0370-8179

Volume: 140;
Issue: 9-10;
Start page: 612;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: hepatitis C virus | chronic hepatitis C | pegylated interferon alpha-2-a | ribavirin

ABSTRACT
Introduction. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can progress to liver cirrhosis that causes bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, liver failure and primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Use of standard therapeutic option consists of recombinant pegylated interferon alpha 2a/b with ribavirin in order to eradicate virus and prevent complications. Objective. The aim of investigation was to evaluate efficiency of combination therapy (pegylated interferon alpha 2a/b plus ribavirin) in patients with chronic HCV infection and to estimate predictive factors for successful treatment. Methods. A total of 387 patients with confirmed diagnosis of hepatitis C were evaluated (aged 18-65 years of both genders). Patients were treated with pegylated interferon alpha 2a/b and ribavirin according to a standard regimen lasting 24 or 48 weeks, dependent on virus genotype. Results. Negative HCV RNA (PCR assay) was recorded in 79.7% of patients at the end of treatment. Six months after completed therapy, negative HCV RNA, i.e. stained virologic response (SVR) was assessed in 70.5% of patients. Statistical summary of our results concerning SVR confirmed better efficiency of combination therapy for the following parameters compared to other investigated variables: age ≤40 (84.3% vs. 59.l%; p
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