Serum HCV RNA levels in patients with chronic hepatitis C given a second course of interferon alpha-2b treatment after relapse following initial treatment

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10 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who previously had responded temporarily to 9 months interferon alpha-2b treatment with normalization of ALT levels during treatment but later relapse were given a second 6-month treatment course. All patients were positive for anti-HCV by a second generation ELISA confirmed by second generation RIBA and positive for HCV RNA in serum before retreatment with interferon. Serum HCV RNA titers and ALT levels were monitored before, during and after treatment. ALT levels fell significantly from mean 1.95 mu kat/l before treatment to mean 0.96 and 0.85 mu kat/l after 4 and 24 weeks treatment, respectively (p < 0.005-p < 0.009). Six patients had normal ALT levels (< 0.07 mu kat/l) at treatment stop. 12 weeks post treatment cessation, however, the mean ALT level, 2.29 mu kat/l, was not significantly changed from the pretreatment level and all patients had raised ALT levels. The mean pretreatment HCV RNA titer in serum 10(5) (range 10(7)-10(3.5)) fell in all patients to mean 10(1.3) (range 10(3)-10(0)) already after 4 weeks treatment and became undetectable at treatment cessation in 5 patients, of whom 4 had normal ALT levels. ALT levels, however, were also normal in 2/5 patients who continued to have detectable HCV RNA titers at treatment cessation. After treatment was stopped HCV RNA titers rose again and 12 weeks post treatment the mean titer was 10(4.7) (range 10(3.5)-10(5.5)).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infectious Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Publication categoryResearch