Virologic response at week 8 of combined treatment as a predictor of sustained virologic response in non rapid virologic response, chronic HCV genotype 4 infected patients
Optimization of interferon-based treatment regimens remains an important goal as pegylated interferon is likely to remain the backbone of chronic HCV treatment in the foreseeable future. The objective of the current study was to evaluate virological response at week 8 of combined treatment as a predictor of sustained virologic response (SVR) in non rapid virologic response (RVR), chronic HCV genotype 4 infected patients. A total of 38 patients with chronic HCV genotype 4 infection were enrolled in the study. All patients received a combination of pegylated interferon α-2a plus ribavirin. Virological response at week 8 of combined treatment was evaluated as a predictor of SVR. Week 8 response was more sensitive but less specific than RVR in predicting SVR, in non RVR patients (24 patients), week 8 response had a sensitivity of 45.5% and a specificity of 76.9% for predicting SVR. In conclusion: In non RVR patients, measurement of HCV RNA at week 8 is an optimal time to identify those who are not going to benefit from pegylated interferon and ribavirin combination therapy.
Keywords: Week 8; SVR; RVR; HCV; Genotype 4