Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Treatment of chronic hepatitis C patients, infected with genotype 4 with interferon-alpha yielded a limited response. Our aim was to compare the efficacy of interferon-alpha alone and in combination with ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C patients infected with genotype 4. PATIENTS: Fifty-two chronic hepatitis C patients (all males) infected with genotype 4, who had not received interferon, were randomized into 2 equal comparable groups. METHODS: Group I received interferon alpha-2b "Schering Plough" 3 MU, tiw combined with ribavirin (1000 mg/day). Group II received interferon alpha-2b alone in the same dose. Both groups were evaluated monthly, at the end of 24 weeks of treatment and 24 weeks later. Two patients were dropped from group I and one patient from group II. RESULTS: Biochemical response: at the end of treatment, a return to normal of ALT was obtained in 16/24 (66.7%) patients on combination therapy vs 8/25 (32%) patients on interferon alone (p = 0.0152). At the end of follow-up, a sustained response was achieved in 10/24 (41.7%) patients on combination therapy vs 4/25 (16%) patients on interferon (p = 0.0468). Virologic response: at the end of treatment, the rates of virological response were higher in the patients on combination therapy 9/24 (37.5%) than in those on interferon 4/25 (16%) (p = 0.0380). At the end of follow-up, loss of serum HCV RNA was reported in 5/24 (20.8%) patients on combination therapy vs 2/25 (8%) patients on interferon (p = 0.1916). Histologic response: mild histologic improvement was shown by a decrease in the inflammatory score, which was highest in patients in the combination group. CONCLUSIONS: In chronic hepatitis C patients infected with genotype 4, combination therapy with interferon-alpha and ribavirin was more effective than treatment with interferon monotherapy. At the end of the follow-up, about 50% of patients in both groups were still viraemic though their ALT remained normal.


Journal article


Ital J Gastroenterol Hepatol

Publication Date





472 - 475


Adult, Antiviral Agents, Biopsy, Drug Therapy, Combination, Genotype, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Chronic, Humans, Interferon-alpha, Liver, Male, Middle Aged, RNA, Viral, Recombinant Proteins, Ribavirin, Time Factors, Viremia