Interferon treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C with normal alanine-aminotransferase activity

M. Yagura et al., Interferon treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C with normal alanine-aminotransferase activity, HEP-GASTRO, 46(26), 1999, pp. 1094-1099
Citations number
Categorie Soggetti
Gastroenerology and Hepatology","da verificare
Journal title
ISSN journal
0172-6390 → ACNP
Year of publication
1094 - 1099
SICI code
BAGKGROUND/AIMS: Chronic hepatitis C virus carriers may have repeatedly nor mal alanine aminotransferase activity despite detectable viremia and histol ogical hepatitis. We aimed to evaluate the effect; of interferon treatment in these eases. METHODOLOGY: Twelve patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransfer ase levels at least 6 months before therapy were treated with recombinant i nterferon (IFN)a-2b for 6 months, totaling 840MU in amount. Alanine aminotr ansferase levels were measured monthly during treatment and after treatment withdrawal, and HCV-RNA levels were measured by polymerase chain reaction before treatment, and 6 and 12 months after treatment withdrawal. RESULTS: At treatment withdrawal, HCV-RNA levels had significantly decrease d and HCV-RNA disappeared in 9 of the 12 patients by polymerase chain react ion. At 6 months after treatment withdrawal, HCV-RNA reappeared in 6 of the 9 patients whose HCV-RNA was negative at treatment withdrawal. Over all, o nly 4 of the 12 patients (33%) were sustained virological responders (HCV-R NA is negative more than 6 months after treatment withdrawal), Pre-treatmen t HCV-RNA levels in a sustained virological responder was significantly low er than that of transient and non-responders (4.9+/-1.6 vs. 7.7+/-1.6 log(1 0)[copies/ml],p<0.05). Of 8-patients who did not achieve sustained virologi cal response, alanine aminotransferase levels had transiently increased abo ve normal during treatment in one patient and after treatment withdrawal in 6 patients; however, in the remaining one patient abnormal values have con tinued from 8 months after treatment withdrawal till now for 24 months. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with chronic hepatitis C with normal alanine amino transferase levels, the response to interferon therapy was by no means sati sfactory. However, if it would be used in cases with the lower pre-treatmen t HCV-RNA levels with careful attention, to a transient alanine aminotransf erase elevation, the more a sustained virological response might be expecte d.